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Taylor Swift sends legal warning to Florida college student who tracks her jet travels

A Florida college student who runs social media accounts that monitor the private jet travels of celebrities and public figures, including Taylor Swift, is facing legal action from the pop star’s attorneys.

TOPSHOT – US singer-songwriter Taylor Swift arrives for the 66th Annual Grammy Awards at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles on February 4, 2024. (Photo by Robyn BECK / AFP)(AFP)

The student, Jack Sweeney, told CNN on Tuesday that he received a cease-and-desist letter from Swift’s lawyers, demanding that he stop publishing information about Swift’s flights on his accounts. The Washington Post first broke the news.

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Sweeney is no stranger to controversy, as he also tracked the jet movements of billionaire Elon Musk. Musk shut down Sweeney’s account “@ElonJet” in December 2022, claiming that it was a “security risk” for him and his family.

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Sweeney, who was allowed back on X (formerly Twitter), also has accounts that follow the private jets of Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and other famous people. He uses publicly-available data from the Federal Aviation Administration and flight signals from aviation enthusiasts to track the flights, and he also estimates the carbon emissions of each flight in his posts.

Swift’s attorneys, led by Katie Morrone of Venable LLP, sent Sweeney a letter in December, accusing him of “stalking and harassing behavior, including consistently publishing real-time and precise information about our client’s location and future whereabouts to the public on social media.”

‘Imminent threat to the safety’ of Taylor Swift

The letter said that this posed an “imminent threat to the safety and wellbeing” of Swift, who has been dealing with stalkers and people who want to harm her since she was a teenager. The letter said that there were “many public cases” of people who came to Swift’s homes, some with weapons and ammunition, and “attempted to harm her.” The letter argued that sharing her location information gave these bad actors “a roadmap to carry out their plans.”

The letter also mentioned Musk offering Sweeney $5,000 to delete the Twitter account that tracked his jet. Sweeney rejected this offer and asked for $50,000, saying he could use the money for college or maybe to buy a Tesla.

The letter said that it was a “life-or-death matter” for Swift, and that if Sweeney continued to publish information about Swift’s jet travels, “She will have no choice but to pursue any and all legal remedies available to her.”

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The Florida college student said that he got the letter from Swift’s attorneys after some non-profit organizations and media outlets criticized the singer’s carbon footprint. Sweeney also said that he did not mean any harm by his actions, and that he was using “public information.”

“I actually think Swift has some good songs,” Sweeney said. However, he said, “I believe in transparency and public information.” Sweeney also said that Swift’s fans were very interested in his accounts, and that she should have “a decent expectation” that her jet would be tracked “whether or not I do it.”

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