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Student Tracking Elon Musk's Private Jet Turns Down Latest Offer To Delete Account

Dominic Smithers

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Student Tracking Elon Musk's Private Jet Turns Down Latest Offer To Delete Account

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

The student who has been tracking Elon Musk's private jet has turned down yet another offer to give it up.

A few months ago, Jack Sweeney set up the Twitter account @ElonJet, which regularly posts updates of the tech billionaire's private plane.

The 19-year-old created over a dozen bots, which use ADS-B data to monitor Musk's movements, as well as other billionaires like Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, posting photos of the jet's whereabouts to the site.

Since setting it up, the account has amassed over 340,000 followers, with the Tesla boss even offering Sweeney $5,000 to take it down, but he refused.

At the time, Sweeney said to The Guardian: "I asked for $50,000, he said 'thinking about it,' then after a while last week he said 'I don't think it's right to pay to take this down,' and just the other night he blocked me.

"I asked for 50 grand, because it would help for college and I also thought it would be cool if I could buy a Tesla, you know like a Model 3 or something."

Well, the teenager has now rejected the advances of entrepreneur Scott Painter, who offered him a £45,000 Tesla Model 3 in exchange for deleting it.

Painter wrote: "Hey @JxckSweeney, I DO NOT have a dog in this fight BUT if what you *really* want is a Tesla Model 3 - I DO have one that you can drive! Want to make a trade?

"Here is the offer. Shut down @ElonJet et al IN EXCHANGE @Drive_Autonomy will give you a Model 3 subscription."

Replying to the offer, Sweeney said: "I told you I'm not interested in a subscription besides, there are numerous facts that suggest this is in conjunction with Elon.

"I want my own car. I don't want to have to give it back in three years. If I got an actual Tesla, then I would take it down."

The stunt hasn't gone down too well with some critics, who have claimed it could potentially put the South African's life in danger.

In a message sent directly to Sweeney, Musk said: "I don't love the idea of being shot by a nutcase."

Discussing the page, Sweeney tweeted a few weeks ago: "While ElonJet hasn't come down but I have warned of it. We need to remember to keep our boundaries if we don't it may have to come down or may forcibly be taken down.

"ElonJet was started to track business moves not to have people ambush Elon at airports."

Elon Musk offered the teenager $5,000 to get rid of the account. Credit: Alamy
Elon Musk offered the teenager $5,000 to get rid of the account. Credit: Alamy

According to reports, while the information is freely available, Sweeney's system is very sophisticated and requires a fair bit of skill to make it work.

Addressing some of the concerns in post to @ElonJet, Sweeney said: "This account has every right to post jet whereabouts, ADS-B data is public, every aircraft in the world is required to have a transponder.

"Even AF1 (@AirForceTrack) Twitter policy states data found on other sites is allowed to be shared here as well.

"If you want to complain to someone tell the ICAO to make a more privacy-focused ADS-B system.

"Taking down my account won't fix the issue, my code is open-sourced others said they would recreate it anyway.

"Taking down this account doesn't stop someone determined from doing something bad they could still go to other websites."

Topics: Elon Musk, Technology

Dominic Smithers
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