Senegal arrests Starlink sellers


The Senegalese government is taking its internet shutdown very seriously as it causes the arrest of persons selling Elon Musk’s Starlink startup kits.

It has been more than one week since another internet shutdown was effected in Senegal, and the government has since arrested five Starlink sellers.

According to the police, the sellers are guilty of “illegal provision of internet access and irregular marketing”.

The five people arrested by the Department of Urban Security of the National Police face up to five years imprisonment and a fine of CFA60 million($100,000).

The telecommunications regulatory authority has also issued a warning for any service providers marketing Starlink and any other company with similar activities to immediately cease all service throughout the country.

Senegal Conflict Image
Senegal Conflict Image

One week ago, the Senegalese government shut down its internet, citing a need to prevent disturbances to public order. This was the country’s second internet shutdown in two months.

The first internet shutdown was an aftermath of the violent protest in the country which started after Senegal’s opposition leader, Ousmane Sonko, was sentenced to two years in prison for “corrupting the youths.” The first shutdown lasted about 3 days according to Netblocks, and it’s presently unknown how long the present one will last.

The Senegalese government can not shut down Starlink as it is a satellite-based internet service and does not rely on physical infrastructure such as data centres, fibre-optic cables, and cell towers like traditional internet services and physical locations on which the government can easily exert control.

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