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Elon Musk and the dangers of real-time flight tracker censorship

Elon Musk and the dangers of real-time flight tracker censorship

#Elon #Musk #dangers #realtime #flight #tracker #censorship Welcome to InNewCL, here is the new story we have for you today:

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I woke up Friday morning to the message I was expecting: “Your account, @Justin_Ling, has been terminated for violating the Twitter Rules.

Below was the offending tweet: a link to one of the few websites providing real-time private jet flight data that “head jerk” Elon Musk, I wrote, “didn’t push to suppress his flight data.”

Musk has accused these flight-tracking devices of “basically providing murder coordinates.” He has launched a crusade against these apps and anyone sharing them on his recently acquired social media platform. Accounts like mine have been banned, while others have been banned entirely – from the @ElonJet bot sharing the location of Musk’s private plane to reporters picking up on his campaign. The Twitter Rules were spontaneously rewritten to prohibit the posting of anyone’s “physical location”.

The chaotic few days prompted the European Union to warn Musk that silence from journalists was likely to result in sanctions from EU regulators. US Representative Adam Schiff urged Musk to reactivate the suspended accounts and explain to Congress why he chose to retaliate against the press in the first place.

Musk restored some — but not all — of those accounts Monday, following a poll asking users when to unban accounts.

Lost in the chaos is how successful Musk has been at suppressing this real-time flight data on the internet. In doing so, he targets an incredibly valuable source of information that has helped researchers, journalists and pundits with everything from tracking down Russian oligarchs to investigating the fate of missing planes to tracking down international hitmen. Musk isn’t the only one trying to keep this kind of information out of the public eye.

Both real-time and historical information on Musk’s main private jet — a 2015 Gulfstream G650ER with tail number N628TS — is conspicuously absent from the two main flight-tracking platforms: FlightAware and FlightRadar24.

FlightAware reports that its real-time data on Musk’s jet is unavailable “due to European government data regulations”, while its historical data on the aircraft’s comings and goings has been removed “at the request of the owner/operator”. If you look up Musk’s jet on FlightRadar24, you get the message: “We couldn’t find any data.”

Even smaller tracking platforms like AirportInfo — the account that caused my Twitter suspension — have taken Musk’s flight information offline.

“The ongoing commotion surrounding the location of Elon Musk’s plane has prompted us to stop displaying his plane at this time,” said Christian Rommes, Administrator of AirportInfo. “With Musk threatening legal action, we don’t want to take any chances.”

While Rommes says his office hasn’t heard from Musk’s legal team, they took the step as a precautionary measure. “Don’t mess with the (formerly) richest man in the world,” he says.

Aircraft operators are required to report detailed information about their flight route to various national regulatory agencies, including the Federal Aviation Administration. This data is usually publicly available and published on various websites popular among airline enthusiasts.

Some companies, like FlightAware, supplement government data with their own sources of real-time flight information. Other sites, like and, allow users to submit photos taken by airplanes as they come and go around the world.

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