CNN’s Jake Tapper gives Blinken every opportunity to condemn Musk for shutting down Ukraine’s use of Starlink. He is scared of the billionaire even as his actions bordered on treason.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken is scared of Elon Musk.
Elon Musk admitted that he personally intervened to shut down Starlink services in Crimea, the satellite network providing internet and communications services to Ukraine, effectively hampering a Ukrainian military operation against Russian forces. Musk justified his decision by expressing fears of potential nuclear retaliation from Russia based on his private discussions with senior Russian officials. In effect, one precocious billionaire used his power to control a network that should not be in the hands of any corporation to create his personal foreign policy that is out of step with his country. Isn’t that tyrannical?
Tony Blinken, the U.S. Secretary of State, avoided condemning Musk’s actions in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper. Despite being given multiple opportunities to criticize Musk, Blinken sidestepped the direct questions, highlighting instead the critical role that Starlink technology has played in facilitating communication in Ukraine. He emphasized the success Ukraine has had in reclaiming territory with the help of technologies like Starlink.
Musk unilaterally made a decision that ultimately killed many Ukrainians by removing their defensive capabilities. He endangered many lives and hindered Ukraine’s defensive strategy against an aggressor nation. This act is Musk leveraging his technological infrastructure to assert control over vital communications, a move perceived to be aligned with Russian interests and based on unfounded nuclear threats.
We must be concerned over vital societal components being controlled by private sector entities like Elon Musk. Such critical technologies should not be under the control of corporations who prioritize their interests over national and human security. The same applies to the control of our food supply and healthcare. Placing such resources in the hands of the private sector grants them “veto power” and “extortive power” over essential needs. It is a pathway to potential blackmail and control over governments and citizens.
We must critically evaluate the role and extent of private sector control over essential infrastructures. Musk’s actions present a clear instance of the dangers of allowing private entities to have control over technologies developed largely through public avenues like NASA. Musk did not bring forth any groundbreaking innovation but exploited existing technologies and the failures of “old dogs” in the industry, proving that such essential communication technologies should not be privatized. A more progressive approach to controlling such technologies, steering away from individual control to prevent undue influence and potential harm to global security, is essential.
Please listen to the video clip in this article for much more context.
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