Elon Musk offers Teenager $5000 to Shut Down Twitter Bot tracking his private jet.
According to a trending post online, Tech billionaire, Elon Musk has offered $5,000 to a 19-year-old if he can shut down a Twitter bot that monitored his private jet’s movements.
The Tesla and spaceX CEO reportedly messaged @ElonJet founder’s Jack Sweeney, claiming that the account was a “security risk” since he didn’t “enjoy the notion of being shot by a nutcase.”
Mr Sweeney told Protocol that the account only paid him $20 each month, but he rebuffed Mr Musk’s $5,000 offer, instead increasing the price to $50,000.
Mr Sweeney replied to Mr Musk via Twitter direct messaging, “It would be excellent help in college and might perhaps allow me to acquire a car, maybe even a Model 3.”
Mr Musk is said to have declined Mr Sweeney’s offer. Mr Musk’s safety has not yet been jeopardized as a result of his Twitter account.
The bot parses data from the FAA and tweets whenever a certain jet lands or takes off. Mr Sweeney has made similar claims about Bill Gates’ and Jeff Bezos’ jets.
The bot can use a plane’s altitude and the time it takes to get data to compute when it is flying or landing, even though Mr Musk’s plane is on the LADD block list, which removes identifying information.
This can be cross-referenced with an airport database to determine destination or departure — all using publicly available data that could be used to track most private planes. Mr Sweeney’s father works in the aircraft industry and has been tracking planes since he was a boy, despite the fact that this information is not widely known.
“Air traffic control is so primitive,” Mr Musk commented when Mr Sweeney revealed how the process worked.