The teen who tracks Elon Musk's jet is now after Putin and Russian tycoons

The 19-year-old says he had received multiple requests from the public to do so.
Ameya Paleja
Russia's president Vladimir Putin.Wikimedia Commons

Jack Sweeney, the 19-year-old who shot to fame after posting Elon Musk's private jet's whereabouts on Twitter, has a new Twitter account where he posts about Russian tycoons' jets, Bloomberg reported.

Sweeney's previous account, @Elonjet regularly tracks Musk's jet, which he had publicly refused to take down even after a direct request from Musk himself. Earlier in January, Musk offered Sweeney $5,000 to take down the account but the teenager refused to settle for anything other than a Tesla.

Isn't that blackmail?

In his defense, Sweeney isn't doing anything illegal as he is just posting details that are already in the public domain. He clarifies his stance further in a pinned tweet on his Twitter page.

Now, the 19-year-old is using the same method to track jets of Russian tycoons. The Twitter account @RUOligarchJets has over 93,000 followers and has tweeted about planes and helicopters of billionaires like Roman Abramovich, Alisher Usmanov, and Alexander Abramov to name a few, while a separate account called @PutinJet is tracking jets of Vladimir Putin and other VIPs in Russia.

However, Sweeney does not expect the latter account to work very accurately since the mandatory Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) coverage, where Sweeney gets his data from isn't great in Russia, Sweeney tweeted.

Russians on the radar

Speaking to Bloomberg, Sweeney said that he decided to start these accounts since he received multiple requests from the public to do so and he has relied on a list of planes from a blog called Radar Spots for this account. According to Sweeney, Russian tycoons move around in massive jets such as Boeing 737 and Airbus 319 that commercial airlines usually prefer.

Since these tycoons also own multiple aircraft, it is rather difficult to exactly trace their location at a given time using details from Sweeney's account. An aircraft landing in London does not mean that the owner was also onboard. So, it isn't necessarily the invasion of privacy the way Musk sees it.

Nevertheless, Russian tycoons must surely be cursing Musk for not giving the boy a car and nipping this in the bud. The account and its posts will surely keep them in the news at a time when they wish for the least amount of spotlight on them. 

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