Elon Musk has made it clear that he won’t take down the Twitter account @ElonJet, which monitors the movements of his private plane.
Elon Musk has said that forcibly taking down the account would go against free speech, despite prior attempts to have it removed from Twitter. Musk is able to remove the account because he is now in charge of the social media network. He says the account is a security risk, but he will let it stay since he is a fervent supporter of free expression.
Monitoring a jet
Jack Sweeney’s @ElonJet Twitter account is devoted to following Elon Musk’s personal aircraft. This particular aircraft is a Gulfstream G650ER. Musk contacted Sweeney at the beginning of the year and asked that the account be deleted because it put his security at risk because anyone in the globe could now see his flight history and most recent flight paths.
Any flying object with a functional transponder emits a signal that can be followed on numerous open websites. However, owners of aircraft have the option to make their tail numbers secret, prohibiting flight tracking for the general public. Although they are marked as “Private” on flight trackers, these aircraft nevertheless use ADS-B to report their location, making them visible to anyone. Sweeney actually did it.
Elon Musk disabled the public flight trackers’ ability to see the tail number of his private jet. However, Sweeney was able to create a map of the plane’s movements using his technical expertise and intuition. The flight tracks were subsequently posted to the @ElonJet Twitter account.
Musk first gave Sweeney $5,000 to close the account, but Sweeney declined and countered with $50,000. Sweeney has not received any payment from Musk in relation to the account. For now, the account is still functioning.
Freedom of Speech
Musk recently took over Twitter, giving him the authority to manage user accounts. Sweeney conducted a Twitter poll on October 27 to determine how many users believed Musk would delete the account now that he was in charge of the social media platform. Yes, it would probably be taken down, received about 60% of the vote.
The tech titan tweeted on November 6 that despite the account’s security risk, he had no plans to delete it. Musk argues that he must leave the account alone because he is committed to the right to free speech, particularly on social media, and because he thinks it is the proper thing to do.
Later, Sweeney expressed gratitude for Musk’s dedication to free expression on Twitter. He went on to say that he is open to conversations regarding the account’s termination and that he strongly opposes any use of the account to locate Musk personally.
“I believed he would not forbid it. He’s just paying more attention to my account, which is something I never anticipated him to say in public. Would you even notify your 100M+ followers of the account’s existence if security concerns were that serious? Since the information is now public, even if I delete my account, someone might still be able to locate me or clone my account.”Jack Sweeny
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