Bloomberg: Starlink terminals actively being sold on black market

SpaceX’s Starlink touts its high-speed internet as “available almost anywhere on Earth,” SİA informs referring to Bloomberg.

In the real world, its reach extends to countries where Elon Musk’s satellite-enabled service has no agreement to operate, including territories ruled by repressive regimes.

A Bloomberg News investigation identified wide-spanning examples of Starlink kits being traded and activated illegally. How they are smuggled and the sheer availability of Starlink on the black market suggests that its misuse is a systemic global problem, raising questions about the company’s control of a system with clear national security dimensions.

Starlink delivers broadband internet beamed down from a network of roughly 5,500 satellites that SpaceX started deploying in 2019. With some 2.6 million customers already, Starlink has the potential to become a major moneymaker for SpaceX, a company that began as Musk’s way to fulfill his dream of exploring Mars and has now become the most important private-sector contractor to the US government’s space program and a dominant force in national security.

The growing black market for Starlink has emerged in regions with patchy connectivity, where the allure of high speed, dependable internet in an easy-to-use package is strong for businesses and consumers alike.

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