The White House said it would negotiate with Elon Musk to set up Starlink in Iran, breaking Internet restrictions

The White House is in talks with billionaire Elon Musk about setting up SpaceX’s Starlink satellite Internet service in Iran, CNN reported Friday, citing officials familiar with the matter. Satellite-based broadband service could help Iranians bypass the regime’s restrictions on accessing the Internet and certain social media platforms. The Islamic Republic has been engulfed by protests that erupted after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody last month.

The US Treasury Department said last month that some satellite Internet equipment could be exported to Iran, suggesting the company may not need a license to provide satellite broadband services in the country.

Musk then said he would activate Starlink responded to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s tweet that the US was acting “to promote Internet freedom and the free flow of information” for Iranians.

SpaceX and the White House did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

Musk said on Tuesday that Starlink had not received any funding from the US Department of Defense for its services in Ukraine, adding that the company had lost about $20 million (about Rs. per month due to unpaid service and the cost of cyberwarfare security measures. defense. “There’s no money from the DoD, but some other countries, institutions and individuals are paying ~11k/25k terminals,” Musk said. The Pentagon is reported is considering paying for service to Ukraine.

SpaceX is aiming to develop Starlink, as it is racing against rival satellite communications companies like OneWeb and Amazon that have yet to launch Project Kuiper.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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