Elon Musk said Starlink will request sanctions exemption on Iran to provide internet services amid anti-government protests after woman died in police custody

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A protest in Tehran over the death of a young woman who died in police custody.The Bharat Express News

  • SpaceX CEO Elon Musk will request exemption from sanctions against Iran to provide internet services.

  • His tweet came amid protests in Iran over the death of a young woman who died in police custody.

  • People in Iran have reported network outages during the protests.

Satellite internet service Starlink will request exemption from sanctions against Iran to provide services in the country, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter Monday.

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Musk responded to a question about whether the company could provide the Starlink internet service to people in Iran. The Islamic Republic faces severe international sanctions, including those over its nuclear program.

“Starlink will ask for an exemption from Iranian sanctions in this regard,” Musk wrote.

Starlink, which uses satellites that orbit the Earth, has more than 400,000 users worldwide, Musk said in May. It is designed for use in remote areas. In a tweet on Sunday, Musk said the service is now active on all seven continents.

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Musk’s tweet comes amid anti-government protests in Iran over the death of a 22-year-old woman named Mahsa Amini, who died Friday in police custody. She was detained by vice squad last Tuesday for not wearing her headgear correctly in Iran’s capital Tehran. On Monday, Iranian police denied that Amini had been mistreated, calling her death “unfortunate”.

Internet users in Iran have been reporting “disconnections or severe Internet service slowdowns in multiple cities” since Friday, Internet watchdog NetBlocks said Monday. The organization added that Monday night there was an “almost total disruption” to internet services in parts of the Kurdistan province – where Amini came from – in western Iran.

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“The network outages are likely to severely limit the public’s ability to express political dissatisfaction and communicate freely,” NetBlocks said.

According to Freedom House, a US government-funded non-profit organization, Internet freedom is “very restrictive” in Iran.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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