The head of Tesla and SpaceX Elon Musk marveled at how easy it was to obtain data about the location of his private jet.
19-year-old Jack Swinney created an online bot in the social network Twitter, which follows the relocation of the private jet of businessman Elon Musk. It became known about it to the portal Protocol.
The programmer since childhood has been fascinated by aero flights and has created 15 bots for the detection of various celebrities flying, including the founder of Microsoft Bill Gates and the head of Amazon Jeff Bezos. They use open data from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and use plans from a special website.
The authorities often withhold this information from the general public, but even private aircraft use dedicated ADS-B trackers to report their location. The Swinney’s bots check the altitude of the aircraft with the time of data acquisition in order to identify the departure and landing, then the algorithms compare the latitude and longitude with the airport database in order to identify the destination of each aircraft. All this information is universally available and can be used to inspect most of the private aircraft, although its use requires specific knowledge.
The most popular bot was @ElonJet, with over 87 thousand people signed up. Last fall, Elon Musk himself turned his attention to the log entry and asked to remove it.
“This is a threat to security. I do not like the idea of being shot by a lunatic,” the billionaire told Jack Sweeny in a private message.
Elon Musk offered the programmer $5 thousand to remove his account
He also asked the young man about how the bot worked. After learning how easy it was to get information about the airline, the businessman was very angry. “The management of the air traffic is so primitive,” he said.
After discovering that the creator makes as much as $20 per month on all of his work, Elon Musk offered the programmer $5 thousand to remove his account and help protect him from customers who can steal his locations. The courageous Jack Swinney raised the amount to $50 thousand: “This would be a wonderful support in college and, perhaps, would allow me to buy a car, maybe even a Model 3.
After this message, Elon Musk promised to think about it, but he has not paid yet. On December 26, Jack Sweeny wrote to the businessman that he was ready to give up the money and release the registration record in exchange for an internship with one of the companies. According to the young man, the famous spokesman has not yet opened the message, he is not embarrassed. During the day the plane drove to Hawaii, so Jack assumed that Elon Musk simply took a leave of absence.
The developer added that he has already taken a lot of credit for his work: he learned how to program, got subscribers in social media and even received a job at UberJets. In addition, he talked to Elon Musk himself, whom he has considered his idol for several years.
At the beginning of December, the wealth of Ellon Musk exceeded a record $300 billion. Thanks to the growth of Tesla shares, the businessman has significantly lagged behind his peers, for example, another richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos, can boast of only $193 billion.