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House China committee demands Elon Musk open SpaceX Starshield internet to U.S. troops in Taiwan House China committee demands Elon Musk open SpaceX Starshield internet to U.S. troops in Taiwan

The Pentagon awarded Elon Musk's SpaceX a one-year contract for Starshield in September.

House China committee demands Elon Musk open SpaceX Starshield internet to U.S. troops in Taiwan

The House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party sent a letter on Saturday to SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk demanding that U.S. troops stationed in Taiwan get access to SpaceX's Starshield, a satellite communication network designed specifically for the military.

The letter, obtained by CNBC and first reported by Forbes, claimed that by not making Starshield available to U.S. military forces in Taiwan, SpaceX could violate its Pentagon contract, which requires "global access" to Starshield technology.


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  • I'd love to better understand your position. it seems like you think that Starlink is aware of who is using a terminal. how can Starlink differentiate between a Ukrainian and Russian user in the same general area? should Starlink randomly turn off user terminals it suspects? what if it accidentally turns off a Ukrainian one? billing is obv not a good indicator

    I want to understand your thoughts a little more clearly on this

    • The area is Russian-occupied. Just turn off Starlink to that area. It's not hard.

      Yes, that sucks for anyone stuck there. But this is war. You don't let the Russians have an advantage.

      • I don't think that's where the problem I'm raising is. Think about an active confrontation area where both sides have Starlink. How do you tell which to turn off in this case? Ideally Ukraine would be using starshield and then Starlink can be turned off entirely

          • that doesn't seem to support your assertion. blocking terminals in a specific geographic location (crimea) doesn't explain how to tell apart two sides using terminals in the same geographic area

            • Blocking terminals in the same geographic location- such as Russian-controlled territory? Something he isn't doing?

              • On an active battlefront these territories aren't strictly defined or are changing quickly. With that methodology if Ukrainian advanced too quickly into what was previously Russian territory, bam - Starlink stops working. That seems undesirable

                • Sorry... you're saying that SpaceX can't just turn access on and off whenever they feel like it? Like my ISP can if I don't pay my bill?

                  Coordinating with the Ukrainian military would be enough to tell them what to turn on and off.

                  • Starlink terminals in Ukraine didn't come from one source. some have been donated by orgs in the US and other countries, some the government, some SpaceX themselves. Ukraine almost certainly doesn't have full knowledge of all the Starlink terminals it possesses. This isn't an ideal environment

                    • So you are again saying that Elon can't do what he already did- not allow access in certain locations.

                      • No. What I'm saying is that due to the fast-shifting geographic nature of a battlefront, and the lack of organization in where the user terminals have come from: (A) Starlink would have a hard time keeping up with a precise map (and would be prone to errors, and would need exact operational data) (B) Ukraine doesn't completely KNOW what terminals are theirs

                        So a geographic location block would be a hindrance for Ukrainian troops when trying to advance, and potentially dangerous when Russians advance into Ukrainian territory. Boundaries would constantly need to be redrawn, requiring exact knowledge of what is happening. Which for obvious reasons should not be shared

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