Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Monday, Apr 22, 2024

Elon Musk and Donald Trump are trying new ways to dodge jet tracking — but it's not a 'silver bullet'

Elon Musk and Donald Trump are trying new ways to dodge jet tracking — but it's not a 'silver bullet'

Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, and Donald Trump are all subjects of jet-tracking accounts on social media that expose their habits to the world.

Elon Musk has suspended over 30 jet-tracking accounts on Twitter, but the data is still public on multiple social media sites — something that celebrities have been fighting since long before the billionaire bought the platform.

20-year-old Jack Sweeney made headlines for publicly tracking Musk's private aircraft on Twitter, and his other accounts like Trump Jets and Zucc Jet, which follow Donald Trump and Mark Zuckerberg, respectively, also gained a following on the platform. All three of those accounts were booted off of Twitter this week, but remain active on Discord.

Because of rising privacy concerns, some billionaires, celebrities, and businesspeople have started looking at various ways to dodge the trackers.

LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault is one: He recently sold his private aircraft so "no one can see where I go," and he now rents jets instead. Apple CEO Tim Cook also only charters private jets as of 2017, with the company citing "security and efficiency" reasons.

Meanwhile, other high-profile people like Taylor Swift and Kylie Jenner — who were slammed over the summer for taking hundreds of flights per year — are using the FAA's free "Limiting Aircraft Data Displayed" program, or LADD, to avoid trackers. Trump's Trump Force One plane is enrolled in the program, as is Oprah Winfrey's. 

The program allows private aircraft owners to block their planes from being publicly shown on websites like FlightAware and FlightRadar24, which use FAA data. 

But their plans for secrecy are being thwarted by aircraft-tracking website ADS-B Exchange. ADS-B is able to broadcast planes' whereabouts because it doesn't rely on FAA data, and thus is not subject to the FAA's privacy programs.

This means even planes that are part of LADD can be tracked by anyone with a smartphone or computer, and it is exactly the source Sweeney used for his myriad jet-tracking Twitter accounts.

Puma/Jay Z's jet tracked on ADS-B Exchange with LADD indicator.

Sweeney has even created a "LADD List" website that acts as a registry of aircraft that are part of the FAA's program and shows all the planes that are, or once were, part of LADD.

"The LADD list isn't so helpful because the plane is still identifying itself through ADS-B Exchange," Sweeney told Insider.

Some jet owners have started looking into another track-blocking option: the FAA's privacy ICAO aircraft address program, or PIA.

According to the agency, private plane owners can apply for a temporary aircraft registration number that is not currently attached to any plane, meaning they can basically fly incognito. The FAA told Insider it has issued over 300 PIAs to date.

However, Sweeney told Insider that even those aircraft can be tracked using ADS-B Exchange, as shown by a screenshot shared with Insider that shows Musk's jet flying on May 7 with no callsign and no tail number, but with "PIA" flagged. Sweeney's Elon Jet Twitter bot also recorded the flight.

Elon Musk's private jet flight with PIA flag, tracked by Jack Sweeney.


"These privacy mitigation programs are effective for real-time operations but do not guarantee absolute privacy," an FAA spokesperson said. "A flight can still be tracked in other ways such as a Freedom of Information Act request, www.LiveATC.com, ADSB Exchange, or a frequently departed airport."

With jet tracking becoming a major problem for the wealthy, the FAA has opened discussion on how to better block websites like ADS-B Exchange. At the National Business Aviation Association's conference in mid-October, the FAA talked about how to mitigate real-time tracking, but admitted: "There are no silver bullets."

Jack Sweeney at the NBAA conference in mid-October in Orlando.


Sweeney shared a slide from the FAA's presentation at the conference with Insider, which outlined ways the planes can still be tracked, like via LiveATC, which is real-time air traffic control conversation, and common departure airports.

"Elon Musk, for example, has a Gulfstream and there's only so many people that fly that particular plane out of Brownsville, Texas, and fly to the same airports," Sweeney told Insider.

Newsletter

Related Articles

Hong Kong News
0:00
0:00
Close
It's always the people with the dirty hands pointing their fingers
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Steve Jobs' Son Launches Venture Capital Firm With $200 Million For Cancer Treatments
Google reshuffles Assistant unit, lays off some staffers, to 'supercharge' products with A.I.
End of Viagra? FDA approved a gel against erectile dysfunction
UK sanctions Russians judges over dual British national Kara-Murza's trial
US restricts visa-free travel for Hungarian passport holders because of security concerns
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Political leader from South Africa, Julius Malema, led violent racist chants at a massive rally on Saturday
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
'I am not your servant': IndiGo crew member, passenger get into row over airline meal
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Spanish Citizenship Granted to Iranian chess player who removed hijab
US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell freezes up, leaves press conference
Speaker McCarthy says the United States House of Representatives is getting ready to impeach Joe Biden.
San Francisco car crash
This camera man is a genius
3D ad in front of Burj Khalifa
Next level gaming
BMW driver…
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
×