Keep in mind, this system is designed to give the Internet to everyone. The antennas will be small enough to conceal. Since the signals go up instead of across a border, censorship is not an issue.
That's very short-sighted. The connection terminates somewhere, so the whole path is either (you)-(satellite)-(local ground station)-(ISP in your country) or (you)-(satellite)-(another satellite)-(remote ground station)-(ISP in another country)
Censorship then can happen at:
- the satellite (unlikely, they probably just want to forward packets with minimal power/time use)
- ground stations (great firewall of china style)
- ISP (standard, existing filtering)
- any nation that wants to just shut down the access rather than censor it (wide band, high power noise, send straight to the satellites to kill all communication)
Also, the use of the equipment should be pretty easy to detect if you can afford a few plane trips (maybe even just vans), so nations that don't like the idea can just knock on your door and have a chat about it with you.
Rubber hose cryptography principles.
I imagine Musk could get even more than the already generous US government protection if he puts the base stations on US soil (I.e. all traffic in NSA reach)
Furthermore, nation-state censorship only has to make reaching censored services more difficult for the average person. They specifically throttle home internet connections but leave businesses alone.
I think I can glimpse what Musk long-term vision is for "connected cars..."
Satellite is pretty much perfect. One provider works globally (vs dozens of mobile proviers), coverage is near 100% everywhere, and mass broadcast signals (like firmware updates and SDC neural connectomes) can be cached locally on the satellite, conserving uplink bandwidth.