Commercial Satellites can be targets during war time

Recent article from SpaceNews talks about how SpaceX and Viasat were used as pawns in the war in Ukraine.

An attack could occur “either because a commercial system is misidentified as a military system or because that commercial system is suspected of acting aggressively or threateningly,” the report says.

From the article

What is interesting here is that what is considered as threatening behavior needs to be defined very clearly to establish these norms. It is in the best interest of commercial space companies to push for a clear set of norms around the subject.

This has clear security implications. Commercial space systems are designed for profit. These expensive systems are critical components of companies in the space business. Protocols need to be established to ensure that the non-threatening presence of commercial space systems can be established easily by nations. Furthermore, the consequences here are long-term. The article draws a compelling comparison between world war era landmines and space debris. Space conflict between nation states can leave space debris destroying commercial space systems many months or years in the future.