IT Kid Who Tracked Elon Musk’s Private Jet Now Tracking Russia’s Elite

IT Kid Who Tracked Elon Musk’s Private Jet Now Tracking Russia’s Elite

In the wake of Russian President Vladimir Putin's attack on Ukraine, a 19-year-old college student is tracking the whereabouts of Russia's elite using a Twitter account.

The new Twitter account @RUOligarchJets, run by University of Central Florida student Jack Sweeney, tracks when private jets owned by Russia’s oligarchs take off and land — then sends out the locations to over 167,000 followers.

 

 

Sweeney's new tracking comes as Ukraine fights for its sovereignty after Russia invaded the European country under Putin's orders.

He found that Russian-owned jets are flying everyday despite the harsh financial sanctions and airspace restrictions put on Russia by President Biden and other allies to Ukraine.

Sweeney uses public data from ADS-B Exchange, a website that collects flight data in real-time, to track private Russian jets, just like he does with @ElonJet, which tracks tech billionaire Musk.

Sweeney says these Russian jets are more extravagant than other private jets he's tracked before.

Sweeney told Bloomberg that the oligarchs have amazing aircraft, emphasizing how they travel in commercial jets including the Airbus A319 and Boeing 737. “Their planes are huge compared to other jets.”

The teen first made headlines in late January after the tech-focused media site Protocol published a story about him and Musk's attempts to shut him down.

The Twitter account caught the attention of Musk, who asked Sweeney in a direct message, “Can you take this down? It is a security risk,” according to Business Insider, which obtained a screenshot of the messages.

Musk then offered to buy the account from Sweeney for $5,000, adding that the student would also be “generally helping make it harder for crazy people to track me,” Business Insider reported.

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