Substrate-97, who is based in the US, said on Reddit they were deliberately torrenting over Starlink to see what would happen. A file download for a “CBS show” ended up triggering the warning.
“Been doing it since I got Starlink, so like two months,” substrate-97 added. “It’s been pretty low key stuff though. Finally downloaded something from a Fortune 500 company and my assumption was that it was specifically that.”
The notice also reveals that Starlink tries to stop piracy like other ground-based internet service providers: If the ISP detects a download for a bootleg movie, the company can automatically send out a warning to the offending subscriber.
Still, it’s not exactly hard to circumvent an ISP’s monitoring. Although we don’t condone piracy, it’s well-known you can stop a broadband provider from logging your internet traffic by using a VPN, which can encrypt the connection. Hence, a Starlink user can still theoretically pirate content on the service—as long as they don’t do it openly.
While Starlink operates over 1,300 satellites in orbit, the internet itself comes from ground stations on Earth connected to local fiber networks.