How Elon Musk unwittingly helps terrorists – La Nouvelle Tribune

The regions of Nigeriaof Maliof Niger and Burkina Faso have been the scene of devastating terrorist attacks for several years. These acts of violence, often attributed to groups such as Boko Haram, led to loss of life and massive displacement of populations. The ability of these groups to use advanced technologies poses a major challenge to regional security.

Recently it was revealed that Boko Haram was using Starlinkthe satellite internet system developed by the company SpaceXDirected by Elon Musk. This information was confirmed following a successful military operation by Nigerian troops who killed a senior commander of the group, Tahir Baga, in the Sambisa forest. During this raid, the armed forces recovered, among other equipment, a Starlink terminal.

Officially launched in Nigeria in January 2023, Starlink aimed to provide internet access to remote areas of the country. The accessibility of this service in a country of more than 220 million of residents raises questions about potential gaps in SpaceX’s sales and vetting procedures.

It is likely that Boko Haram members did not acquire Starlink directly under their true identities but rather through intermediaries who masked their affiliation. This method of acquisition highlights a major problem: unlike traditional internet service providers, the less strict regulations applied to Starlink can make it more difficult for authorities to trace transactions and prevent abuse.

The situation is all the more problematic as the authorities could have difficulty monitoring the use of the service by terrorist groups. This highlights the challenges of regulating a technology that, while beneficial in terms of connectivity, also offers unexpected opportunities for malicious actors.

These revelations could seriously damage the reputation of the company and its founder, by showing how technological innovations, even well-intentioned, can be misused for nefarious purposes.

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