Musk bans @Elonjet and says legal action is coming against the owner • The Register

updated Twitter has suspended an account dedicated to tracking Elon Musk’s private jet travels using public flight data – a month after the world’s second richest man said his “commitment to freedom of expression” prevented him from doing so.

The account, @elonjetwas suspended yesterday along with the personal account of its owner, Jack Sweeney, and several others controlled by Sweeney who have been tweeting the private jet flights of several rich and famous people.

Musk also appears to be taking legal action against Sweeney, adds a tweet that his attitude towards the jet tracking accounts has apparently changed due to an encounter in Los Angeles the previous day.

“Last night, car with Lil X [referring to his child, X Æ A-12] in LA was being followed by a crazed stalker (who thought it was me) who later stopped the car from moving and climbed onto the hood,” the SpaceX baron tweeted, adding, “Legal action will be taken against.” Sweeney and organizations that have supported harm to my family.”

Musk’s tweet included video of the alleged stalker but none of the alleged harassment, just footage of the suspect looking surprised behind the wheel of a car.

It’s not entirely clear what the connection is here, except: the jet tracker indicates which airport Elon may have just landed or taken off from, and someone allegedly followed their kid around LA.

Along with this tweet thread, the Tesla tycoon proclaimed that “any account doxxing real-time location information of anyone will be banned as it is a physical security breach. This includes posting links to websites with real-time location information.”

He then clarified that with the odd phrasing “posting places someone has traveled to with a bit of delay isn’t a safety issue, so it’s fine,” which would mean that news articles and tweets reporting where someone has been , allowed are.

Jet excursions not private

Flight-tracking bots designed by Sweeney use the Federal Aviation Administration’s Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) system to track aircraft by tail number. Since the information is free and publicly available, anyone with the know-how could build a similar bot.

Twitter’s official privacy policy did not prohibit the release of such information, but after Musk’s announcement that the Elonjet account was suspended, Twitter did has updated its privacy policy record such public data.

“We’ve updated our private information policy to prohibit the sharing of another person’s live location in most cases,” according to Twitter’s security account tweeted. “Going forward, we will be removing tweets that share this information, and accounts dedicated to sharing someone’s live location will be banned.”

According to Twitter, individuals are free to share their own location, and location information from others who aren’t on the same day can still be posted, meaning Sweeney could certainly be free to join Twitter if he commits to sharing information with a delay to publish.

Speaking to Buzzfeed News, Sweeney said he was surprised Musk blocked the accounts afterwards say last month He would allow it in the name of freedom of speech, though Sweeney also believes he’s been a target of Musk’s ire since he began tracking his flights.

Sweeney said he received a screenshot of a message purportedly showing Twitter’s Vice President of Trust and Safety, Ella Erwin, urging Twitter employees to heavily filter the Elonjet account to bury it out of sight — effectively suspending it . Sweeney claimed the screenshot was sent anonymously from a burner account, and Buzzfeed said it was unable to authenticate the claim.

Musk previously tried to stop Sweeney by offering him $5,000 to delete the account, which Sweeney declined. Since being banned from Twitter, the 20-year-old has said he feels renewed. “I’m going to go on forever… I can’t let him win now,” Sweeney said.

Those who wish to track Elon’s jet anyway are not prohibited from doing so outside of Elon’s personal platform, either directly from the FAA or through one of Sweeney’s @Elonjet mirror accounts on Mastodon, Instagram, Telegram – or even Truth Social. ®

Updated to add

Twitter is now expose the accounts of journalists who have reported critically of Musk, including reporters from CNN, the New York Times, and the Washington Post.

According to the Twitter boss in a tweet, the Journos broke the same rule as Sweeney, presumably by tweeting about the ElonJet account and/or linking to its source data and related resources. It’s not clear if each of the now-suspended reporters really did.

PS: It was nice pointed out that Twitter prohibits all links to other Sweeney sites.

https://www.theregister.com/2022/12/15/musk_bans_elonjet_flight_tracker/ Musk bans @Elonjet and says legal action is coming against the owner • The Register

Rick Schindler

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