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Can Musk's Starlink Keep Ukraine Online? #177649
03/05/2022 01:02 PM
03/05/2022 01:02 PM
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Tulsa
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There are hurdles, and a lot of risks. But Elon Musk's system may well provide may well provide a service no government can control.

Quote
Since the Russian invasion began, Ukrainians have shared recipes for making Molotov cocktails and instructions for driving abandoned troop carriers.

They've used encrypted apps to coordinate tactics and to ask Russians to stand up to their government, who in turn have staged protests in Moscow and other cities.

Though it may end up losing on the battlefield, Ukraine has been able to show the world the brutality and folly of the Russian attack, which is only possible because everyday citizens have retained access to the internet.

But maybe not for long: In areas with the heaviest fighting, internet outages are becoming common, and since information is power on the battlefield, there's a danger that Russia will find a way to knock the country fully offline.

This is why Ukraine's Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation tweeted a plea to Elon Musk, "We ask you to provide Ukraine with Starlink stations and to address sane Russians to stand."

"Starlink service is now active in Ukraine." Musk tweeted back later that day, collapsing a regulatory process that can take months or years into under 280 characters.

[Linked Image]

Starlink, which has been up and running since 2021, is a global satellite internet provider owned by Musk's company SpaceX, which aims to provide low latency, high-speed internet to areas that are less densely populated and where fast reliable internet may be lacking.

The first obstacle is that Ukrainians can't just connect directly to Starlink satellites: First, they need ground terminals.

"…terminals en route," was how Musk finished his tweet, and less than 48 hours later, Fedorov replied with a picture showing a truckload of them in Ukraine, "Starlink — here. Thanks, @elonmusk"

[Linked Image]

Those terminals will need to be brought into cities under siege and connected to wi-fi, which will allow Ukrainians to connect their devices. That presents a challenge in the middle of a war.

And if terminals lose power, they'll need batteries or generators to stay online.

[Linked Image]

Radio signals could also be triangulated, and Musk has also warned that terminals could be targeted by Russian forces, cautioning users to keep terminals, "as far away from people as possible."

[Linked Image]

But if the terminals can be installed and maintained, Starlink could provide a digital lifeline to some Ukrainians.

Divorcing the online world from geography and placing it outside state control is in keeping with the internet's original promise.

"The dream of the internet was one of complete deterritorialization," says Eli Dourado, a senior research fellow at the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University. "Internet was supposed to mean that it doesn't matter where you live. You are connected to all of humanity through this completely transparent network where geography is irrelevant. We've seen how far short of that we have fallen. We've seen some governments censor the internet. I think a great outcome for the internet would have been for us to be able to export the First Amendment to the entire planet."

Can Starlink help make good on the internet's original promise to be a tool of liberation? Imagine if Putin had to answer to a populace with immutable internet access that could see the unvarnished reality of war. How might that change the way a conflict plays out?

One of Starlink's key innovations is that the signal can be relayed laterally a number of times, across country borders, time zones, and even oceans before beaming back down to a ground station. That could make it harder for any one country to censor or track what its citizens access online. But this is only if Starlink first turns on service in those places and then routes internet traffic through ground stations in neighboring countries.

While the technology would allow for it, Starlink may not turn out to serve that grand purpose. Dourado cautions that "Starlink is, of course, a commercial offering from an American company that's launching frequently into space. Under the outer space treaty, the United States government is ultimately responsible for what SpaceX does when it's in space." So far, Starlink is only available in countries that welcome its presence.

But the technology holds promise. Satellite internet might one day offer an uncensored alternative for people living in North Korea, China, or Cuba.

Using the power of the internet, everyday Ukrainians are coordinating their defense, appealing directly to Russian kinship and common humanity, rallying people to their cause, and showing the devastating cost of war. Starlink could help them to prevail in this battle.


Onward and upward,
airforce

Re: Can Musk's Starlink Keep Ukraine Online? [Re: airforce] #177651
03/05/2022 05:40 PM
03/05/2022 05:40 PM
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Tulsa
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An uprising in Kherson. Lots of videos at the link.

Quote
Putin’s theory of how Russia would pacify a conquered Ukraine appears to have been that Ukrainians would … just sort of pacify themselves. Russia can’t mount an effective long-term occupation of a country this large but it wouldn’t need to, provided that Ukrainians placidly accepted their fate and welcomed their integration into Russia.

It’s no exaggeration to say that Russia’s entire war strategy rested on that dubious assumption bearing out. If Ukrainians resisted and forced Russia to commit to a lengthy pacification effort, there’s no telling how long Moscow would be able to sustain it. Especially with western sanctions taking a wrecking ball to their economy.

To put it another way, Putin really, truly seems to have believed his own bullsh*t about Ukrainians greeting Russian troops as liberators. In a worst-case scenario, he may have imagined that Ukrainians would resist initially but then would roll over once their cities were occupied and all hope of expelling the invader was lost.

That theory was tested today in the southern city of Kherson, the site of Russia’s most significant victory to date. The Russian military seized it days ago and moved in to occupy it. If Putin is right that Ukrainians will reconcile themselves to their fate once they fall under Russian control, the first evidence should emerge in Kherson.

His theory looked shaky yesterday. Today it looks shakier....


Read the whole thing - and watch the videos - at the link.

Onward and upward,
airforce

Re: Can Musk's Starlink Keep Ukraine Online? [Re: airforce] #177652
03/05/2022 07:06 PM
03/05/2022 07:06 PM
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Thanks for sharing. The determination of a free people to stand up against an invader is inspirational. I hope that they can succeed in making this invasion and occupation of their nation far to costly (lives, equipment, money and political capital) for Putin to continue. I’ve heard lots of reports of how this common enemy is leading to a renewed sense of National unity in Ukraine, beyond region or language. I hope that after they win, that this will give a drive for the nation to throw off the yoke of the oligarchs and corruption.


"Government at its best is a necessary evil, and at its worst, an intolerable one."
 Thomas Paine (from "Common Sense" 1776)
Re: Can Musk's Starlink Keep Ukraine Online? [Re: airforce] #178113
05/10/2022 01:31 PM
05/10/2022 01:31 PM
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Tulsa
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The head of Russia's space agency has threatened Elon Musk. If the goal was to frighten Musk, it seems not to have worked.

[Linked Image]

Quote
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been threatened by the head of Russia's space agency over his attempts to provide Ukraine with internet service.

Musk, 50, has been using Starlink - a constellation of more than 2,000 satellites in low Earth orbit - to beam internet connections to dishes around the world.

The service has a large presence in Ukraine, introduced with the explicit intention of keeping the country online amid the ongoing Russian invasion.

The billionaire said they had 'resisted hacking and jamming attempts' from the Russians back in April and were focusing SpaceX efforts on counter measures - at the expense of other projects.

Musk tweeted out information provided by Dmitry Rogozin, the head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, to the Russian media on Sunday night. Rogozin posted the statement himself on Telegram.

Rogozin - who just yesterday boasted that Russia could destroy all NATO countries 'in half a hour' - accuses Musk of giving Starlink equipment to what they refer to as the 'Nazi Azov Battalion' as well as branches of the Ukrainian military.

'From the testimony of the captured chief of staff of the 36th Marine Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Colonel Dmitry Kormyankov, it follows that the ground-based subscriber equipment of the Starlink satellite company Elon Musk was delivered to the militants of the Nazi Azov Battalion and the Marines of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to Mariupol by military helicopters,' Rogozin wrote.

'Elon Musk is thus involved with supplying the fascist forces in Ukraine with military communications,' Rogozin adds. 'And for this you will have to answer in an adult way, Elon, no matter how much you'll play the fool.'

As well as responding to attacks, officials say Starlink is giving Ukrainian forces the edge in winning the drone war as the nation fights back with technology to track down invading Russians.

The billionaire responded, as he often does, with his tongue pressed firmly in cheek.

'The word 'Nazi' doesn't mean what he seems to think it does,' Musk - who is in the process of attempting to purchase Twitter - tweeted.

He then added: 'If I die under mysterious circumstances, it's been nice knowin' ya.'

Many of Musk's fans responded to the missive, including his own mother, Maye Musk.

'That's not funny,' Musk's mother wrote with a few angry-faced emojis to go along with it.


'Sorry! I will do my best to stay alive,' Musk replied.

Rogozin has been feuding with the billionaire since the invasion began, calling him 'little devil' and criticizing the Tesla Cybertruck, according to Business Insider.

He even mocked Musk's attempt to buy Twitter, calling him 'moneybags' and mocking the idea that he would bring free speech to the platform.

SpaceX has launched more than 2,000 of its 'Starlink' space internet satellites into orbit and hopes to have 12,000 in the sky by 2026.

They form a constellation designed to provide low-cost broadband internet service from low Earth orbit.

While satellite internet has been around for a while, it has suffered from high latency and unreliable connections.

Starlink is different. SpaceX said its goal is to provide high-speed, cable-like internet all over the world....


Read the whole thing at the link.

Onward and upward,
airforce

Re: Can Musk's Starlink Keep Ukraine Online? [Re: airforce] #178115
05/10/2022 03:39 PM
05/10/2022 03:39 PM
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Tyler County, TX
T
Texas Resistance Offline
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It's just a waste of money. The Russians will RFID the terminals and blow them up. Musk should stay our of their war.


www.TexasMilitia.Info Seek out and join a lawful Militia or form one in your area. If you wish to remain Free you will have to fight for it...because the traitors will give us no choice in the matter--William Cooper
Re: Can Musk's Starlink Keep Ukraine Online? [Re: Texas Resistance] #178116
05/10/2022 05:57 PM
05/10/2022 05:57 PM
Joined: Jan 2002
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Tulsa
airforce Online content OP
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Originally Posted by Texas Resistance
[b]...The Russians will RFID the terminals and blow them up. Musk should stay our of their war.


They haven't been able to so far. And they've been trying.

Onward and upward,
airforce

Re: Can Musk's Starlink Keep Ukraine Online? [Re: airforce] #178119
05/11/2022 02:06 PM
05/11/2022 02:06 PM
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Tulsa
airforce Online content OP
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China is "deeply alarmed by Musk's Starlink capabilities. Good.

Quote
A recent commentary in the official newspaper of the Chinese armed forces suggested that the international community should be on high alert for the risks associated with the Starlink satellite internet system, as the US military could potentially use it for dominating outer space....

The article notes the SpaceX Starlink’s role during the Russia-Ukraine war, where Elon Musk provided Starlink terminals to restore communications in those parts of the country where internet or phone connection had stopped following the shelling by Russian troops.

”Starlink was the only non-Russian communications system still working in some parts of Ukraine in the wake of the invasion,” claimed SpaceX founder Elon Musk.

However, there have also been reports of Starlink aiding the Ukrainian armed forces in precision strikes against Russian tanks and positions, which has not been unnoticed by Chinese military observers....


Read the whole thing at the link.

Onward and upward,
airforce


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