Russia Declares War on Elon Musk’s Satellite Internet | Digital Trends Spanish


The geopolitics of the 21st century touches the internet, and an example of this is the initiative that is discussed in the Lower House of the Congress of Russia, an arm of the ruling party of President Vladimir Putin that intends to sanction companies that use satellite internet from firms like Elon Musk’s OneWeb and Starlink.

Simulation of a SpaceX Starlink satellite with its solar panels deployed while in orbit. ErcXspace / Twitter

In accordance with a report published in Popular Mechanics, the Russian State Duma (the equivalent of the United States House of Representatives) presented a bill to sanction with fines of between 10,000 and 30,000 rubles (from $ 135 to $ 405 dollars) to citizens who use American satellite internet companies , and from 500 thousand to 1 million rubles (from $ 6,750 to $ 13,500 dollars) to companies that incur the same administrative fault.

But why the penalty? Pure and hard geopolitics. According to the portal Ars TechnicaFigures of the Putin regime at the level of the director of the Russian space agency Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin, consider that companies such as OneWeb and Starlink respond to US military purposes. He even called Elon Musk’s company “predatory, smart, powerful and high-tech.”

In this sense, for years Russian congressmen have sought to control the flow of the internet with a national network. Advocates say this would protect Russia from foreign cyberattacks, while critics say the initiative seeks simply to restrict the flow of information.

Paradoxically, Russian geopolitics collide when it comes to making an economic profit. OneWeb, part of the Airbus Group conglomerate of companies, launches satellites using the Roscosmos infrastructure, and currently has shipments scheduled from Baikonur, in Kazakhstan, and Vostochny, in Russia.

Meanwhile, Russia works on its own satellite internet network. Its name is Sphere and it is estimated to have a budget equivalent to $ 20 billion, well above the Russian space agency’s budget of about $ 2.4 billion a year.

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