Taylor Swift takes legal action against college student over jet tracking amid carbon footprint outrage

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Florida student, Jack Sweeney, who operates social media accounts monitoring private jet travels of celebrities, including Taylor Swift, is facing legal action from the pop star’s attorneys, as per multiple media reports.

A Florida college student, Sweeney is known among netizens for tracking the private jet movements of celebrities. He was earlier in the news after Elon Musk took down his X (formerly known as Twitter) “@ElonJet” account in December 2022, citing security concerns for the billionaire and his family.

Controversial Tracking Activities

Sweeney’s new legal trouble comes from Swift, whose attorneys have issued a cease-and-desist letter. The singer’s legal team, led by Katie Morrone of Venable LLP, has accused Sweeney of engaging in “stalking and harassing behaviour” by publicly sharing real-time information about Swift’s location and future travel plans on social media.

Despite facing controversies, Sweeney, who has since the Musk episode returned to X, continues to monitor the private jets of other notable figures such as Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates, among other high-flying celebrities.

He uses publicly available data from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and flight signals from aviation enthusiasts, to provide information about the flights, including estimates of carbon emissions in his posts.

Swift’s legal letter emphasised the potential threat to the safety and well-being of the pop star due to Sweeney’s actions. Citing past incidents of individuals attempting to harm Swift, the letter argued that sharing her location information could provide a roadmap for such actions.

The legal document also referenced Musk’s attempt to persuade Sweeney to delete the Twitter account tracking his jet, offering $5,000. Sweeney rejected the offer, counterproposing $50,000, indicating he could use the funds for college or potentially to purchase a Tesla.

Sweeney told CNN he received the cease-and-desist letter after non-profit organisations and media outlets began criticising Swift’s carbon footprint. He added that he did not intend any harm and justified his actions by stating he was using public information.

Acknowledging that Swift has “some good songs,” Sweeney said he is committed to transparency and public information. He also noted the interest of Swift’s fans in his accounts, suggesting that tracking her jet is something she should reasonably expect, with or without his involvement.

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Published: 07 Feb 2024, 08:34 AM IST

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