THESE are the chilling reasons why Elon Musk's Starlink satellites could lead to more bloodshed in Ukraine.
A cyber expert has warned the low-orbit internet satellites provided to keep the country's internet online could backfire spectacularly for Ukraine.
The besieged country received donated Starlink terminals from Musk's aerospace compmany SpaceX on Monday.
"Starlink — here. Thanks, @elonmusk," Ukraine's vice prime minister, Mykhailo Fedorov, tweeted days after asking the billionaire tech entrepreneur for help.
The tweet included a picture of the back of a military-looking truck loaded with terminals.
Musk tweeted back: "You are most welcome".
Starlink is a growing constellation of internet satellites operated by SpaceX.
Instead of using cables on the ground, it beams internet to users from the skies from low orbit satellites and is designed to help people who live in remote places where traditional broadband is not available at all.
Most read in The Sun
How Putin amassed 6,000 nuclear weapons that could hit UK in 20 minutes
Now Belarus troops 'INVADE' Ukraine as Russia’s 40-mile tank column hits Kyiv
Dancing On Ice fix row as fans claim Phillip 'knew' Sally was going home
Thai star dies after falling from speedboat on restaurant trip with pals
Much like a Sky TV box, you need a satellite dish on the ground to receive the internet signal, which is what makes them dangerous for Ukrainians, who need to install them.
John Scott-Railton, a senior researcher at the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab project, took to Twitter to echo those warnings.
"Re: @elonmusk's starlink donation. Good to see. But remember: if #Putin controls the air above #Ukraine, users' uplink transmissions become beacons…for airstrikes," he posted.
"Russia has decades of experience hitting people by targeting their satellite communications," he added in a series of 15 tweets detailing the perils of the move.
🔵 Read our Russia – Ukraine live blog for the very latest updates
This is because installing end-user terminals requires a clear view of the sky to connect to Starlink.
And because high-rise buildings can block the service, anyone installing the equipment will have to go to the top of the highest building to set up an antenna, said Tim Farrar, a satellite communications consultant.
"That's a fairly vulnerable place to be," he said, alluding to the fact this equipment will be visibly exposed and lead to more bombing as Russian forces try to cut off communication between Ukrainians.
It could also become a honing beacon for Russian fighter jets to bomb.
"It is not going to be something that can offer a replacement for terrestrial internet on a large scale," Farrar added.
The Sun Online has contacted SpaceX for comment.
The move comes after a request from Ukraine’s deputy prime minister to provide much-needed internet access as its army fights back against the military might of Vladimir Putin’s forces.
In a Twitter message to Musk, 50, Mykhailo Fedorov said: "Elon Musk, while you try to colonise Mars – Russia tries to occupy Ukraine!
"While your rockets successfully land from space – Russian rockets attack Ukrainian civil people! We ask you to provide Ukraine with Starlink stations and to address sane Russians to stand."
Within 10 hours the billionaire replied to say the Starlink service was online in Ukraine with more dishes “en route”.
Ukraine’s internet service had been hit during the invasion by Russia’s troops with connectivity to Ukraine's main provider GigaTrans dropping to below 20 per cent of normal levels in the early hours of Friday, according to UK-based NetBlocks.
Previously, Mr Musk had said SpaceX will rescue the International Space Station if Russia tries to drop it from orbit after threats by Vladimir Putin's space chief.
Source: Read Full Article