Elon Musk Offers Teen $5K To Stop Tracking Private Jet

Elon Musk Offers Teen $5K To Stop Tracking Private Jet

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Elon Musk offered a teenager $5,000 to stop tracking his private jet, but I guess he wasn’t open to negotiations.

Musk doesn’t want his private jet tracked

Tech (multi-hundred) billionaire Elon Musk has a private jet. Specifically, he has a 2015 Gulfstream G650ER with the registration code N628TS. An interesting story is coming out about how Musk tried to pay a teen to stop publicly tracking his plane.

Since June 2020, 19-year-old college student Jack Sweeney has been running a Twitter account with the handle @ElonJet. This Twitter account has posted the whereabouts of Musk’s jet, using public ADS-B data. While Musk’s jet is blocked in the FAA database that many tracking sites use, it’s still visible with ADS-B data, but the process of tracking does require a bit of work.

Musk wasn’t happy about having his aircraft tracked, so in late 2021 he sent the teen a direct message on Twitter, and in part the conversation went like this:

Musk: “Ok, how about $5k for this account and generally helipng make it slightly harder for crazy people to track me?”
Sweeney: “Sounds doable, account and all my help. Any chance to up that to $50k? It would be great support in college and would possibly allow me to get a car maybe even a Model 3. Would love to help you out.”

Musk reportedly stopped responding after that, so no deal was reached, and Musk’s jet is continuing to be tracked. Interestingly the teen said he eventually wants to work for one of Musk’s companies, so I guess that’s not going all too well based on the lack of a deal and him continuing to do the tracking service.

More recently, Musk has once again made it clear he doesn’t like having his travel tracked over security concerns. For example, in mid-January, when a Tesla investor posted about a planned flight for Musk, the billionaire wasn’t happy, saying “yeah, unfortunately this is becoming a security issue.”

I’m not sure there’s a solution here?

A few thoughts based on this situation:

  • It’s funny that Musk was willing to pay $5K but not $50K, both of which are the equivalent of a fraction of a cent for most of us; or maybe he just lost focus and forgot about this
  • The reality is that even if he paid this teen to take down the account, someone could have easily replicated this
  • While I can appreciate that Musk has safety concerns, at the end of the day there’s only so much privacy you can expect as a very public figure who is constantly moving around
  • With Musk’s $200+ billion, I think he could probably afford a proper security detail that rivals the Secret Service, which would be his best bet for staying safe
  • If somebody actually had bad intentions based on Musk’s travel plans, I think they’d be able to figure out his whereabouts without the help of this Twitter account

Bottom line

A Twitter account has been tracking the location of Elon Musk’s private jet for well over a year now, using publicly available data. Musk has security concerns about this, which I suppose is understandable, though at the same time there’s only so much that can be done to protect public data.

Musk was willing to pay $5K for the Twitter account to be shut down. When the teen behind it tried to negotiate $50K, Musk went silent.

Where should the line be drawn when it comes to privacy around flight data?

Conversations (62)
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  1. Gwen Guest

    Any amount of money isn’t the solution to this, and I’m surprised Musk even considered $5K. Using ads-b is something any of us has the right to do, but this kid’s behavior is going to ruin it for the rest of us who don’t feel the need to make other people’s privacy a public matter. Basically, the kid is an ass-hole and Musk is more of a gentleman than that kid will ever be.

  2. Abundance Guest

    Could musk be this greedy, just help the teenager with college that's all

  3. dee Guest

    When Nancy P flies in her government paid private jet... It is blocked for her protection..so why not Elon?

  4. Brian Guest

    Why doesn’t he contract private flights out where his information would not be disclosed like every high profile person?

  5. Emmanuel Guest

    Is his private jet electric? I hope it is cos all that feul and the ozone health concerns? Wow

  6. Emmanuel Benjamin Guest

    No no no. You got all wrong. Musk could easily get him arrested for invasion of privacy. Infact paying that boy is synonymous to paying a hijacker. His actions are criminal. You can't get money out of people by invading their lives or putting Elon and his family at risk. So fraction of his wealth or not you are wrong for suggesting that at all. Infact you have no reason to be a journalist if you can't be objective.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      LOL another person stuck in a liberal dream.

      You put all these in the same statement but yet you can't connect the dots.

      "arrested for invasion of privacy."
      "You can't get money out of people by invading their lives"
      "a journalist"

      There is a three letter word for this and they are not criminals.

      TMZ

  7. Gina Vazquez Guest

    5k..was way to low an offer...that was my original thought before i read on...10k would have been a decent offer...

  8. Jake Guest

    Please give me 50K so I can buy one of your cars and that will help you.... Is this kid retarded? Give me your money so I can give it back to and then take a car from you, I don't want his dumbass working for Elon.

  9. Choppers Guest

    Worth billions and good on him, but why not use more than one G series jet. Its not as if he can’t afford it.

  10. Eddie Guest

    "It’s funny that Musk was willing to pay $5K but not $50K, both of which are the equivalent of a fraction of a cent for most of us; or maybe he just lost focus and forgot about this"

    Isn't Ben kinda senseless here saying 5k or 50k is nothing to the most of us? That's simply not true. Tons of people lost their jobs because of corona and are struggling as we speak.

    Or is it just me? Am I reading his writing wrong?

    1. Bobby Guest

      He’s that $5k (or $50k) is to Elon what a fraction of a penny is to most of us, considering his net worth as compared to ours.

      Whereas $50k might be a sizable chunk of your yearly salary, Elon makes $50k every few hours.

  11. Josh Guest

    Elon Musk is too busy sitting around tweeting about how great he is to understand ADS-B. (Sometimes he also posts about how great Joe Rogan is, which should be a big red flag to everyone.)

    Say what you will about his money, but he’s a terrible human who runs multiple companies with toxic cultures. Yet the bros on the internet are so quick to exalt his every fart.

    This guy is everything that’s wrong with America in one post.

    1. Max Guest

      Every man who despises Joe Rogan should get his testosterone levels checked and get TFT afterwards.

  12. Dan Guest

    Yes but he has no other option because the federal government requires one to use the services you mention when flying that type of aircraft in this country.

  13. Zephaniah Ugwuneri Guest

    The teen should be held in violation of a private person’s ownership rights. Because he has an equipment that could violate another person’s privacy,
    this does not give him a privileged right to extort money from people as a result. I would ask the authorities to enact laws that can prevent this teen from ever violating people’s privacy and actually charge him for the harm and danger he poses to the public. I am...

    The teen should be held in violation of a private person’s ownership rights. Because he has an equipment that could violate another person’s privacy,
    this does not give him a privileged right to extort money from people as a result. I would ask the authorities to enact laws that can prevent this teen from ever violating people’s privacy and actually charge him for the harm and danger he poses to the public. I am a democrat and I believe this guy is committed a crime.

    1. KevinBM Guest

      Elon Musk is a private individual, but when he is flying, he is using government subsidized resources, i.e. ATC controllers, controlled airspace, airport services and parking etc. He has no rights of privacy using these resources, tracked by publicly available information. If he wants his travel to be private, he can fly commercial; then only the people on the plane and airline employees will know where he's going. He can even fly first class, and...

      Elon Musk is a private individual, but when he is flying, he is using government subsidized resources, i.e. ATC controllers, controlled airspace, airport services and parking etc. He has no rights of privacy using these resources, tracked by publicly available information. If he wants his travel to be private, he can fly commercial; then only the people on the plane and airline employees will know where he's going. He can even fly first class, and go to the lounges where he will be seen by even less people. Like the article says, he can afford private security to fly with him.

    2. Eskimo Guest

      @Zephaniah Ugwuneri

      You are stuck in liberal dreams. That's where people uses "I am a democrat and I believe this guy is committed a crime."

      "Because he has an equipment that could violate another person’s privacy"
      It's called a computer. So I guess we all committed a crime.
      See you in jail, I assume?

  14. Gus Fraser Guest

    This article has the odour of a half azzz stalker case. Elon might actually have a case here. Go Elon!!!
    Gus..

  15. Baron Guest

    I won't weigh in on Elon having the greatest mind but I will say he is one of the greatest capitalists ever, considering his age. As for the kid tracking his whereabouts, that's a bit creepy but to each his own, some people's brains are just wired differently when it comes to privacy. If he was hoping to eventually work for Tesla, I wouldn't make it a habit of pissing Elon off. His reach is far and wide with the fortune he has!

  16. emanuele avaro Guest

    Paying the kid 50K would’ve equaled inviting a whole bunch of weirdos to do the same. I am surprised nobody’s bringing this up. This is the society we live in I guess. Easier to shoot on the millionaire.

    1. KevinBM Guest

      That's because the billionaire is wrong. He has no right to privacy using public resources, and being tracked by publicly available information. Rich people have no more rights than we do. It's creepy to follow him, but completely legal.

  17. Dknel Guest

    The money Musk has and he has the audacity to offer $5k? My high school daughter would've rejected that offer as well. Worth billions & probably offered less than he tips his airplane pilots daily or the hostess at one of his fine dining hotspots.

    Musk isn't in college anymore so he needs to realize that because of his "electric revolution" amongst many other factors in the background we've had this thing called inflation...

    The money Musk has and he has the audacity to offer $5k? My high school daughter would've rejected that offer as well. Worth billions & probably offered less than he tips his airplane pilots daily or the hostess at one of his fine dining hotspots.

    Musk isn't in college anymore so he needs to realize that because of his "electric revolution" amongst many other factors in the background we've had this thing called inflation that Musk fails to see being he's got money managers that probably make more in a year than most make in a lifetime.

    Musk needs to help some kids get thru college but he failed the test. To the genius college kid, keep on tracking as Elon has the money for his own private security company easily and then some.

  18. Michael Guest

    Blackmail. If he would pay him, the next day 100 new accounts would do the same thing.

    If I were Musk, I would sue the guy for whatever reasons. Even if Musk would lose, the guy would be ruined.

    1. KevinBM Guest

      Why? Everything the kid is doing is completely legal.

    2. Eskimo Guest

      Sue for whatever reasons?

      If the reason is stupid enough the kid can just get it dismissed.
      If the reason is trivial just to run up legal fees, I'm sure the public will call out bully and lots of lawyers will want fame doing pro bono.

      Stupid move for Elon to do that.

  19. L. G. Brandon Guest

    How about this take: ***k that kid. Life is not always about "the amount" of money. The kid was trying to take advantage, or possibly Elon felt that he was being taken advantage of. Why was free 5K so absolutely terrible??? ***k that kid.

  20. Andrew Guest

    This story doesn't need to be here. This site is creeping closer and closer to points guy status where I never look at it, but warn everyone I know away from it.

    1. Bob Guest

      To me if I had celebrity status and I wanted privacy the first thing I would do is make sure I don't get on social media or make comments that incite sharp responses. That's like saying I want to make the most awful comments to the public but please for my own safety you should not respond to me.

  21. Jane Guest

    He and his mates are yelling about loss of privacy, yet they insist on everyone else using QR codes to go to the supermarket!! You go college kid!!

  22. Steve Diamond

    Just fly netjets or use differnt planes, pretty simple.

  23. Never In Doubt Guest

    Maybe after his first offer, someone told Musk there was nothing proprietary about the kid’s information, and that buying the Twitter handle wouldn’t accomplish anything, except maybe incentivizing others to do likewise.

  24. Len Guest

    This is a simple fix. Have more than 1 jet and charter service them all. I think his money can afford a few.

    1. foo blah Guest

      I was going to say something along those lines. Another option would be to own the plane via a shell company. Though I guess as soon as someone saw him getting off the plane and takes a pic that shows the tail number, that plan goes out the window.
      Private charter fleet it is then!

    2. Dknel Guest

      Pry already has the shell, leasing or whatever company he uses. Pry has it chartered or something already for tax advantages. These ultra rich have accountants that make more than you and I wish we could make.

  25. derek Guest

    50K is nothing to Musk? Ok, how would you like it if an airline passenger from Haiti gets charged 2 cents for checked baggage but you have to pay $575 because of your income? Rip off.

    I don't blame Musk not wanting to pay $50k.

    Perhaps the guy could ask for a Tesla car, which Musk might see as different? Or payment of this semester's tuition? That might seem different to Musk.

    1. Luke Guest

      Ya Musk might actually agree to give the kid a Model S Plaid worth 140k instead of the cash.

    2. Bruce Guest

      $50,000 of a fraction of his income is essentially 0.008333333%. The median US income is around $30,000. 0.008333333% of your $30,000 income is $2.50 to check a bag you cheap ass.

    3. Lune Member

      I don't blame Musk for trying to drive a bargain but I definitely don't blame the kid for trying to get the best deal possible. He's in a position of strength and knows it. Musk can't shut him down; nothing he's doing is illegal or private. He can either pony up or deal with the lack of privacy he and his tech industry buddies want to foist on the rest of us.

      If were him I'd ask for even more.

    4. J Hudler Guest

      If he could be bought for $5k or $50k, then Elon would have to be a fool to hire him. What if a foreign national walk up to this kid and offer $125 for any technical stuff. This kid just made himself a pariah in Job market.

  26. Eskimo Guest

    Could have hired the kid. Could have given the kid a Model 3.

    Or people who thinks he is like Tony Starks.
    Maybe build a flying suit, build a stealth Gulfstream, dropship from space?
    Great mind isn't he.

    Heck, I'm disappointed that I even thought Elon would solve this billionaire problem like a billionaire.
    Buy a fleet of several jets and fly them as decoy until compromised. Then regroup and repeat, very...

    Could have hired the kid. Could have given the kid a Model 3.

    Or people who thinks he is like Tony Starks.
    Maybe build a flying suit, build a stealth Gulfstream, dropship from space?
    Great mind isn't he.

    Heck, I'm disappointed that I even thought Elon would solve this billionaire problem like a billionaire.
    Buy a fleet of several jets and fly them as decoy until compromised. Then regroup and repeat, very simple. But the liberal tree lovers won't understand. But like Zuck's iconic quote, I'm Elon Musk B**ch.
    Now @elonmusk problem solved, where is my $5000 and my job offer?

    1. Eskimo Guest

      Let me take my words back a bit.
      After reading the NYPost and screenshot, I kind of understand why Musk didn't pay up.
      It took the kid almost 4 hours to respond to the offer and middle of the night. He is trying to milk the billionaire, nothing sincere at all.

      He was probably right to ignore this kid.

  27. HT Guest

    He wants to be a public figure, so he has to deal with the kind of stuff that public figures deal with.

  28. Mike Saint Guest

    Elon is a pretty interesting guy. Back in 2012 I was one of the first ones to buy the Model S. Right when I heard about the Model X I reserved a California license plate very similar to the one Elon had. I posted on a Tesla forum about the license plate that I got that was very similar to Elon's (only cooler and shorter than his).

    He reached out to me and offered...

    Elon is a pretty interesting guy. Back in 2012 I was one of the first ones to buy the Model S. Right when I heard about the Model X I reserved a California license plate very similar to the one Elon had. I posted on a Tesla forum about the license plate that I got that was very similar to Elon's (only cooler and shorter than his).

    He reached out to me and offered me $5,000 to buy the license plate from me. He must have a thing for $5,000. When I tried to go higher, he also said no.

    1. Dknel Guest

      Maybe that's how Elon got his start, $5k so maybe he thinks everyone can make it off $5k. Wonder what Elon had to start with way back when as that may shed some light.

  29. Benjamin G Guttery Guest

    I just think even rich people deserve some privacy. If it's around an investor meeting or some other public appearance, cool, he is already expected to be there. But what if it's something very personal or family/health travel? I don't know, I wouldn't want to be tracked all the time.

  30. Santos Guest

    What a baby. And if he were a real genius and not just some stock-inflated charlatan, he'd hire that kid in some junior capacity straightaway. As for the security concern, idk man... Maybe stop targeting the nutjobs of the world as your key audience demographic and they won't end up becoming your crazy-ass stalkers. Clown show all around.

  31. Endre Guest

    Fanboys are the worst. Love or hate Musk, but he is one of the greatest minds of all time.

    1. Textuality Member

      He's one hell of a marketer / businessman. He's definitely not one of the greatest minds of all time though, or even close.

    2. Adams9802 Guest

      He lives off government subsidy. He’s a welfare boy who’s parents owned an emerald mine. When Tesla crashes and it will I will have no end of shadenfruede watching him go broke.

    3. foo blah Guest

      @Adams. Which subsidies would those be? You mean the loans he got that were paid off on time?

      Musk has single-handedly revolutionized four major tech sectors, space launch, EVs, battery storage and satellite internet. These are simple facts if you’re actually paying attention and not being a whiney a$$hat.

    4. Ben L. Diamond

      A good way to know if someone is a born mark is if they think that Elon Musk is one of the greatest minds of all time.

    5. TracyL Guest

      Right on, Ben L!
      It certainly figures that Endre would think of Elon as being one of the greatest minds of all time… Anyone who’s followed OMAAT for any period would know that it takes one fool (Endre) to know another one (Elon). Both pompous asses deserve whatever folly befalls them

    6. foo blah Guest

      no, that would be anyone that voted for Trump. LOL!

    7. Max Guest

      Unlike LockheedMartin, Northrop Grumman and Boeing, he was smart enough to hire lots of German Engineers to build his rockets.
      Same for Tesla, without ze Germans onboard the company would've failed already.
      What the Yankees are better at is finance hocus-pocus and marketing. That's where Elon really excels at

    8. Josh Guest

      Only “US Persons” can work at major defense companies for security reasons. Exceptions are made, but that is the standard. SpaceX is commercial and does not have the same ITAR and import/export restrictions.

    9. foo blah Guest

      Wrong. ITAR applies to the technology, and to all US companies doing business outside the US.

    10. Eskimo Guest

      @foo blah

      I don't think loans are consider subsidies.
      But...his Gigafactories got subsidies. He sold more cars because customers got EV credits. He sold ZEV credits because the government forced the industry.
      He was riding the wave.

      "Musk has single-handedly revolutionized four major tech sectors, space launch, EVs, battery storage and satellite internet."
      Revolutionized? Greatest minds? again with these flattering words.
      I have very high respect for Elon Musk. He is...

      @foo blah

      I don't think loans are consider subsidies.
      But...his Gigafactories got subsidies. He sold more cars because customers got EV credits. He sold ZEV credits because the government forced the industry.
      He was riding the wave.

      "Musk has single-handedly revolutionized four major tech sectors, space launch, EVs, battery storage and satellite internet."
      Revolutionized? Greatest minds? again with these flattering words.
      I have very high respect for Elon Musk. He is a great entrepreneur with strong work ethics who is crazy enough to make bold moves and have a unique personality.
      He invested in ventures that accomplished investors like Warren Buffet wouldn't touch. He took on the risky ones.
      But
      Space launce: Von Braun and his V2 Rocket (while he predates ITAR, the workaround is the same, give him US citizenship)
      EVs: The idea was ages before Tesla. Greedy automakers did it but stick to selling ICE because it's easy money. Hybrid and Prius convinced the mass. Lithium battery efficiency enables full EV.
      Battery Storage: This is where Elon deserves more credit (but less everywhere else). While he didn't invented Lithium batteries, he greatly improves them. We get real usable range Tesla because of his battery improvements.
      Satellite internet: Iridium, Globalstar or the lesser know Teledesic went to space decades ago. Hopefully, like the batteries, Elon can make it a commercial viable product. But no credits before that.
      LOL, "single-handedly revolutionized", not even close.
      The only thing he revolutionized is convincing people to buy Dogecoins.

      He is still smart, and really knows how to play the public. That he deserves credit. But don't tell me our lives would never be the same without Elon.

    11. Dknel Guest

      Subsidies, Everytime Elon sells a car he's a beneficiary, receiver of Govt subsidies as had you not got the tax rebate/credit/ whatever you want to call,label it then you probably wouldn't buy it.

      Then add the fact that when they build the big factories tax free on land, etc because they're creating "jobs" they get practically whatever they want from local municipalities, counties, states basically whatever they need. The infrastructure that a city will...

      Subsidies, Everytime Elon sells a car he's a beneficiary, receiver of Govt subsidies as had you not got the tax rebate/credit/ whatever you want to call,label it then you probably wouldn't buy it.

      Then add the fact that when they build the big factories tax free on land, etc because they're creating "jobs" they get practically whatever they want from local municipalities, counties, states basically whatever they need. The infrastructure that a city will rush out to install to build the plant. Sure workers will work there pay taxes, employer will pay certain taxes and taxes on what they make.
      Now think about the research costs these companies write off resulting in not as large gains so then the company seems less profitable on paper though they're extremely profitable.

      I understand companies create jobs but alps how do companies afford to do so much if they claim to not have large enough profit margins, margins which I may say will be shared with those who threw money to him or whoever it may be starting a business venture.

      Companies have very creative bookkeepers that advise them every step of the way.

      Do I fault them in that essence? No. I do however take to task the issue of this so called "global warming".

      Once we've got power plants stressed to the max production wise, no new electric plants being built as the EPA will have their day with electricity given once ICE engines aren't mainstream the TreeHuggers will need a new whipping boy so then they'll go after the companies in how they harvest the raw materials, etc then we'll have another crisis, less electric plants will be built.

      Just look at what happen with oil refineries in the United States. There's not many if more than 1-2 left in the U.S. Same goes for Acetylene and that type of stuff used for shops, welders, etc.

      We're going to be the reason of our own demise. America needs to wake up!

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Josh Guest

Elon Musk is too busy sitting around tweeting about how great he is to understand ADS-B. (Sometimes he also posts about how great Joe Rogan is, which should be a big red flag to everyone.) Say what you will about his money, but he’s a terrible human who runs multiple companies with toxic cultures. Yet the bros on the internet are so quick to exalt his every fart. This guy is everything that’s wrong with America in one post.

2
KevinBM Guest

Elon Musk is a private individual, but when he is flying, he is using government subsidized resources, i.e. ATC controllers, controlled airspace, airport services and parking etc. He has no rights of privacy using these resources, tracked by publicly available information. If he wants his travel to be private, he can fly commercial; then only the people on the plane and airline employees will know where he's going. He can even fly first class, and go to the lounges where he will be seen by even less people. Like the article says, he can afford private security to fly with him.

2
Eskimo Guest

One of the greatest minds? How so?

2
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