Billionaires, Hollywood stars and global climate activists share the fame, wealth and image they strive to control. All of this is why so many are calling on public companies not to track their flights and expose their carbon footprints.
AFP Report Flight-tracking sites and Twitter accounts that offer real-time views of air traffic are ending regular boycotts ranging from complaints to seizures of equipment by people who would rather their actions not be in the public domain.
According to its organizer, Dan Streufert, one group in the United States alone receives dozens of “requests” every year to stop posting flight updates.
“So far, we haven’t removed anything. It’s all public information. And I don’t want to be the arbiter of who’s right and who’s wrong,” added Streufert, founder of the flight-tracking site ADS-B Exchange, which tracks data from Any private flight to politicians, stars, activists or royals.
Those raindrops that fly private jets, or not? Ask for a friend. https://t.co/J5Q5ykzEQr
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) December 1, 2020
The AFP report lays out restrictions that do apply in some cases, but the group that pieced together the flight path noted that the core source of information is legally available and open to anyone with the right equipment to put it fully into the public domain. .
Under U.S. regulations, aircraft in designated areas must be equipped with ADS-B technology, which broadcasts the aircraft’s position using signals that relatively simple devices can pick up. It outlines what happens next:
Services like Sweden’s Flightradar24 have 34,000 mostly volunteer-operated receivers around the world to pick up the signal, a vital source of information that is routed back to a central network and linked to data on flight schedules and aircraft information Combine.
Jet tracker Jack Sweeney said some investigation might be needed to figure out or confirm who a plane really belongs to, filing a public records request with the U.S. government that yielded A form with the signature of a specific aircraft owner: Tesla boss Elon Musk.
Sweeney, whose Twitter account tracks the billionaire’s jets, even rejected Musk’s $5,000 proposal to shut down @ElonJet, which has more than 480,000 followers.
“There’s so much traction and I’m doing the right thing. The celebrity thing — people like to see what celebrities are doing, and the whole emissions thing,” he told AFP, referring to concerns about the greenhouse gas impact of airplanes .
“Putting it on Twitter makes it easier for people to access and understand,” Sweeney added.
Another Sweeney Twitter account (powered by data provided by ADS-B Exchange) showed in July that American model and celebrity Kylie Jenner’s plane had flown just 17 minutes in California, Breitbart News reported.
Kylie Jenner’s jet takes off from Camarillo, California, USA. Go to Van Nuys, California, USA (VNY, Van Nuys Airport) and arrive at about 3m. pic.twitter.com/Jo0ZAfaJ69
– Celebrity Jets (@CelebJets) July 13, 2022
The internet is not happy.
The star quickly faced plenty of criticism on social media over concerns it sent messages about climate change, while others pointed to the sheer hypocrisy involved.
Taylor Swift responded after Jenner was labelled a “climate criminal” for flying fairly fast in her private jet with boyfriend Travis Scott.
How Taylor Swift Needs Her Private Jet Or How Will She Travel the World Collecting Every Sparkly Bodysuit Available
— Zach Schiffman (@schlife) July 31, 2022
The issue extends far beyond Taylor Swift and private jets. It is a global trend for celebrities, corporations and the super-rich to leave large carbon footprints. The richest 1 percent of the population emits about 70 times more carbon than the bottom 50 percent.
— Adam Best (@adamcbest) July 30, 2022
“They tell us working-class people feel bad about our annual flight to a much-needed vacation, and these celebs take a private jet every other day like it’s an Uber,” tweeted @juliphoria , which is another example of anger.
“We track anything because honestly, if someone’s really a bad actor and they want to know where these things are, you can make electronics for $100 and deploy receivers to pick up the same signal yourself,” ADS Streufert says -B exchange, confirming that the data already exists. It just needs to be distributed.
As Bill Gates was forced to admit, climate activists were also called out after being tracked on multiple flights in private jets that were once entirely private matters:
In some parts of the world, governments have made it clear that the technology and the resulting messages are not welcome, and are ready to take action — by force if necessary.
Chinese state media reported in 2021 that the authoritarian Communist government had seized hundreds of receivers used for crowdsourced flight tracking, citing risks of “espionage”.
“In many cases, authoritarian regimes don’t like this exposure,” Struft said.