Musk and Starshield. Now the government’s in on it!

Fearing Nuclear War, Musk Relinquishes Control

Walter Isaacson, biographer of the American billionaire Elon Musk, who founded Tesla and SpaceX, has said that a certain amount of equipment and services of the Starlink satellite network has come under Pentagon control.

Musk revealed that his decision was motivated by fears of a possible nuclear war. Musk initially developed Starlink as a tool for relaxation, a platform for people to enjoy Netflix, or engage in video games. He never envisioned creating something that could potentially escalate into a nuclear war. When asked by the people of Ukraine to provide a service to allow them to contact loved ones he opened up Stalrlink access at his own expense. He would not turn on the power necessary for drone warfare.

SpaceX refused to allow Ukraine to use its Starlink satellite internet service last year to guide submarine drones in an attack on the Russian Black Sea Fleet and the incident underscores how dependent multiple governments have become on a man who controls both a dominant means of high-speed communication and a major platform for public discourse, X. Musk bought X, then known as Twitter, last year, after building SpaceX into a Washington powerhouse.

Last December, the company wrote this on its website: “While Starlink is designed for consumer and commercial use, Starshield is designed for government use,”

Few details are available about the intended scope and capabilities of Starshield. The company hasn’t previously announced tests or work on Starshield technology. But we know the Pentagon has it.

Question: Why is Biden forcing a Musk to make decisions our military should be making?

Limiting Pentagon’s Control

Musk further provided clarity on the division of control, stating that the Pentagon would only have authority over the section of the Starlink system required by Ukraine. This decision absolves him of any responsibility for its boundaries and usage rules. Musk has decided to sell a portion of Starlink’s equipment and services to the US military, thereby transferring full control over them and eliminating his accountability for their boundaries and usage rules.

Starshield offers defense and intelligence agencies custom-built spacecraft, sensors, and secure communications services leveraging SpaceX’s investment in its Starlink network of broadband satellites.

Like other commercial players, SpaceX is eyeing opportunities fueled by the United States’ “great-power competition” with China and Russia. A U.S. national defense strategy document the Pentagon released in October 2022 called China a “pacing challenge” that threatens to surpass the United States in defense and space technologies. To win this race, DoD intends to tap commercial innovation.

Previous Stance on Starlink Use in Warfare

Prior to this, Musk had noted that he did not activate the Starlink satellite system in the Crimea region for the Armed Forces of Ukraine since it was initially agreed that the satellites would not be used for attacks on civilian infrastructure. However, given the evolving landscape of warfare and the potential for misuse of such technologies, the Pentagon has decided to alter future procurement agreements. The revised agreements now include a clause allowing the use of goods and services for military purposes. BNN has more