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During Woman, Life, Liberty protests Elon Musk activated Starlink in Iran and yesterday reported that 100 devices are active right now.

Since it is illegal to have the device in Iran, how do the government trace satellite frequencies, is it even possible?

What kind of device do they use to trace the signal, I mean do they have to take the device from one street to other or one station can monitor a region?

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    $\begingroup$ Who says the government of Iran does not just indent numbers? Also, so says they did not simply buy a receiver months ago and had it in a lab? I think the router dashboard gives kind of a system state overview when logged in. Also, all satellite trajectories are publicly available, so there's zero surprise in how many satellites are visible from any point of the earth, at any time. $\endgroup$ Dec 27, 2022 at 23:43
  • $\begingroup$ Are you asking how Starlink could know how many customers they have in Iran? Or are you asking how the Iranian government might identify and prosecute users of the Starlink system within its borders? $\endgroup$ Dec 28, 2022 at 15:13

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Welcome! I will take a SWAG as not all are the same. Satellite frequencies are assigned and can be received by anyone with an appropriate receiver. Receiving a signal, measuring its strength is simple, decoding the data gets way more complicated. The Starlink hardware knows how many units are connected, and there ID. This is used for diagnostic information etc. It also allows them to monitor the loading etc. Diagnostic monitoring etc is generally company private or property and not available to the general public including government agencies. To trace the signal they have to locate the transceiver that is monitoring the satellite. Because of protocols etc it will be transmitting some information. They simply triangulate the location of the signal source and they can find it. Look up fox hunt games that amatures do for fun.

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