A Teenager Tracked Elon Musk’s Jet on Twitter. Then Came the Direct Message.

Mr. Sweeney offered a counter to Mr. Musk, according to screenshots from the exchange, says he will leave the account if Mr. Musk raised up to $ 50,000 in advance. He said he would also accept the Tesla Model 3, an electric car valued at more than $ 38,000, adding that he was joking.

In exchange, Mr. Sweeney was asked how he was able to track Mister. Musk. He explained that he had obtained data on the plane’s transponder. When asked to pay for closing a Twitter account, Mr. Sweeney made another proposal: What about internships?

The exchange, which lasted for more than a month, calmed down after January. 23.

Mr. Sweeney minimized the privacy and security concerns associated with her tracking account for Mr. Musk, which has more than 305,000 followers.

“It’s a private jet so it goes straight from the jet to the car,” he said, adding that he has long been fascinated by plane tracking. “I do not think so. Some people are just interested in seeing where it goes. “

Mr. Sweeney said it obtained data for its aircraft-tracking accounts from the ADS-B exchange, which describes itself on its website as the world’s largest source of unfiltered flight data.

Dan Struffert, founder of ADSBexchange.com LLC, said in an email on Wednesday that anyone with basic electronics could receive a signal from a plane transmitting their locations. Information is also available by listening to air traffic controllers, he added.

“However, it is important to note that our website tracks aircraft, not individuals,” he said. Struffert said. “We can’t say who is on the plane or not. Mr. Musk’s companies own and operate a number of aircraft – this is just one of them. Mr. Musk can find Mr. Sweeney’s activities are as annoying as the paparazzi, however, the information is already public from numerous sources. “

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