Taylor Swift threatens legal action against Florida student who tracks her plane

Taylor Swift’s lawyers are threatening legal action against the Florida college student who tracks the private jets of celebrities and public figures, including Swift.

Jack Sweeney confirmed to CNN on Tuesday that he received a cease-and-desist letter threatening legal action from Swift’s lawyers over the social media accounts he manages that track Swift’s flights. The news was first reported by the Washington Post.

Sweeney is the same person who drew the ire of billionaire Elon Musk for tracking his plane trips online. Musk, owner of X, dissolved Sweeney’s “@ElonJet” account on the social media platform formerly known as Twitter in December 2022.

Sweeney, who was allowed to return to Platform Musk has previously said the accounts pose a “security risk” to him and his family.

Sweeney operates the accounts on various social media platforms using publicly available flight data from the Federal Aviation Administration, as well as flight signals tracked by individual aviation enthusiasts, and often includes estimates of the carbon emissions of each flight he tracks. in the publications.

The December letter from Swift’s lead attorney on the matter, Katie Morrone of Venable LLP, accuses Sweeney of engaging in “stalking and harassing behavior, including consistently posting accurate, real-time information about our client’s location.” and his future whereabouts to the public on social networks. .”

The letter states that this represents an “imminent threat to the safety and well-being” of Swift. It also accuses Sweeney of ignoring the public safety of others “in exchange for public attention and/or requests for financial gain.”

The letter even references a CNN report about Musk offering Sweeney $5,000 to delete the Twitter account tracking his plane. (Sweeney rejected this offer at the time and asked for $50,000, saying he could use the money to pay for college or perhaps buy a Tesla.)

The letter states that it is a “matter of life and death” for Swift, who has dealt with stalkers and others who wish to harm her since she was a teenager. The letter states that there are “many public cases” of people who have gone to Swift’s residences, including armed with weapons and ammunition, and “attempted to harm him.” The letter maintains that sharing her location information gives these bad actors “a roadmap to carry out their plans.”

If Sweeney continues to publish information tracking Swift’s plane travel, her lawyers add: “She will have no choice but to pursue all available legal remedies.”

Sweeney told CNN via email that he received the letter from Swift’s lawyers after headlines at some nonprofits and media outlets examined the singer’s carbon footprint.

Sweeney also told CNN that he never intended any harm with his actions, and noted that he is gathering “public information.”

“I actually think Swift has some good songs,” Sweeney added. Still, she said, “I believe in transparency and public information.” Sweeney also said there is a lot of public interest from Swift’s fans in her accounts, saying she should have “a decent expectation” that her jet will be tracked “whether she does it or not.”

A representative for Taylor Swift on Tuesday declined CNN’s request for comment. When asked about evidence that Swift’s stalkers had used plane-tracking accounts run by Sweeney, a spokeswoman for Swift told the Washington Post: “We cannot comment on any ongoing police investigation, but we can confirm that the moment stalkers suggest a connection. Her posts tell you exactly when and where she would be.”

Interest in Swift’s upcoming travels, and specifically whether she will return to the US from her overseas tour in time to see her boyfriend Travis Kelce at the Super Bowl, has intensified in recent weeks.

Last week, the Japanese embassy in the United States tweeted a statement saying that despite the long return flight from Tokyo and a 17-hour time difference, Swift should be able to make it to Las Vegas from Tokyo in time for the big game. she does leave Tokyo the night after her concert.

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