Elon Musk even offered $5,000 to the founder of the “ElonJet” Twitter account to stop following his jet.
“The data is already there”
In July, the account “Celebrity Jets” revealed that reality TV star Kylie Jenner took a private jet for a 17-minute flight to California causing an uproar on social networks. “They tell us working class people to feel guilty for our annual theft on a well-deserved vacation. needed while these celebrities take private jets every other day like it’s an Uber” , a tweeted an outraged internet user.
Neither Jack Sweeney nor Dan Streufert mentioned a red line they wouldn’t cross regarding the publication of air routes. “The data is already there. I only redistribute them”, says the founder of “ElonJet”.
This activity also generates income, even if it is difficult to assess. Dan Streufert admits making a living this way but refuses to give details while Jack Sweeney assures that his flight tracking accounts brought him about 100 dollars a month.
Flightradar24 does not communicate on its turnover
Theft tracking can also have a big impact beyond the ire of celebrities and billionaires, as the controversial visit of Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi in Taiwan at the beginning of August, whose flight was followed by more than 700,000 people on the Flightradar24 site at the time of its landing.
In August, an NGO report accusing the European border surveillance agency, Frontex, of facilitating the refoulement of migrants attempting the perilous crossing of the Mediterranean was based on data from ADS-B systems, as well as American media used it to denounce the the presence of surveillance flights during the anti-racist demonstrations in Washington in 2020.
Dozens of elected officials in Congress had, after these revelations, urged in a letter the FBI and other government agencies like the National Guard to “stop monitoring peaceful protesters”.
Elsewhere in the world, governments have clearly stated that these technologies and this type of data were not welcome. Chinese state media reported in 2021 that the government had seized hundreds of receivers used by real-time flight tracking sites, under the guise of risk “spy”.
“In many cases, it is the authoritarian regimes that do not like this kind of visibility” , emphasizes Dan Streufert.
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