Teen who created Twitter bot that tracks Elon Musk's jet rejects Musk's $5k offer to delete it

Originally published at: Teen who created Twitter bot that tracks Elon Musk's jet rejects Musk's $5k offer to delete it | Boing Boing


If only he lived in a state with robust gun control laws…


I had to clean the coffee off my counter :smiling_imp:

Evidently Must doesn’t mind getting shot all that much, since he only offered $5K to take down the tracker. If Musk makes a $1B a year, that represents 2.5 minutes of time spread across the entire year. Chump change for “the world’s richest man.”

And, really, making a public offer? Talk about moral hazard. He just invited every script kiddie on earth to extort him by tracking his location, or to revenge track him if he doesn’t make a decent offer to the kid. Barring a law making the info secret and a crime to publish, he’s now faced with having to spend millions to buy or hire a second, “secret” plane to fly around and use his current plane as a decoy. Much better would have been a DM and off-Twitter negotiation, maybe fly the kid and a guardian to Tesla for a meeting and tour, and make it all quietly disappear.

If this was about Musk’s safety, this was the dumbest way possible to handle the situation. If it was an attempt to grab the spotlight, well, he certainly drew attention to himself, but he’s not looking good.


first thing i thought of as well. why go public with these “negotiations”? make a quiet deal, and agree to say publicly that the kid reconsidered out of safety concerns he wasn’t previously aware of or some other bullshit story. musk might be known as a genius (i have no idea if that’s true or not) but he has a street smart level of -5.


I don’t think so.

First and foremost ADS-B Exchange does not participate in the filtering performed by most other flight tracking websites which do not share data on military or certain private aircraft. Because ADS-B Exchange does not use any FAA data there are no FAA BARR/LADD, military, or other “filters” preventing you from seeing the the data you collected. ADS-B Exchange simply does not accept payment or requests to remove aircraft from public tracking!

Hm. There’s also ACARS, which should have position and someone probably collects that data too.


That person has a bright future, continue on fine Mutant.


Really, what he should have done was quietly offer the kid some money to delay the postings by a couple days. If it disappeared entirely, someone else might decide to do the same thing - which becomes almost inevitable if people realize there’s money in it, as they now do, given the source information is freely available. If he was just worried about security (though having people know what city he’s in worries him?), a delay would send people to where he was without them being any the wiser.

He keeps proving he isn’t, so I don’t think we can really keep giving these claims the benefit of the doubt… It seems pretty clear that Musk is competent in narrow contexts, at best.


Anything that complicates that asshole Musk’s life is good in my book. Carry on, kid.


Remember, this was a guy that fired up a fat joint on some kinda video/podcast a few years ago. I have to question his judgment, not for doing it, but for doing it in such a public way, being a CEO and all that.

My take is that musk revels in the fame, not unlike the former dude. I wouldn’t be surprised if he tried to run for US president (constitutional barriers be damned!) and makes just as much a (dangerous) fool of himself as the former dude did (and continues to do).


More specifically, lighting up a fat joint while being a CEO of a company that fired lesser employees for marijuana use, including those using it for medicinal purposes.


Yeah, he definitely seems to be into the attention, and a certain amount of the stupidity is also just tr0lling - where it was deliberate but it was dumb of him to do it.

The correct way to mitigate the privacy risks of ADS-B is by getting an “anonymous” address, called a PIA by the FAA. It can still be linked to your plane by a planespotter, so you’d need to change it from time to time. The program limits aircraft owners to changing once every 20 days. Use of a PIA is not allowed on international flights.

The FAA then helpfully points out the the PIA database is not protected from FOIA, so the secret registration of your jet can be unsecreted by any citizen journalist who cares enough to do so.

Musk turned on PIA on Jan 26, and the Twitter bot is already tracking it.


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