Musk says Starlink won’t block Russian media outlets ‘unless at gunpoint’

“Sorry to be a free speech absolutist.”

JIM WATSON via Getty Images

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said some governments recently told the company to block Russian media outlets from its Starlink satellite broadband service. In a tweet he sent out early Saturday, Musk declared the company would not comply with the request "unless at gunpoint." According to Musk, the demand hadn't come from Ukraine. "Sorry to be a free speech absolutist," he added.

Musk also said SpaceX would temporarily shift its priorities to focus on cybersecurity and overcoming signal jamming, a decision he noted would cause "slight delays" in the rollout of its Starship reusable rocket and Starlink V2 satellites.

SpaceX's position puts it at odds with a growing list of companies that have blocked access to Russian state media across Europe in the wake of the country's invasion of Ukraine. On February 27th, the European Union said it would ban Russian state-backed media outlets Russia Today and Sputnik for their role in spreading misinformation and "lies to justify Putin's war." Both Facebook and YouTube were quick to comply with the order, restricting access to the outlets across their European footprint.