Sunday, August 7, 2022

Billionaires, Hollywood Celebrities Join Call To End Public Plane Tracking After ‘Climate Criminal’ Backlash

Billionaires, Hollywood Celebrities Join Call to End Public Plane Tracking After ‘Climate Criminal’ Backlash 

Billionaires, Hollywood celebrities, and climate activists share fame, fortune, and a profile they work hard to control. All of which is why so many are calling on a public company not to track their flights and expose their carbon footprints. AFP reports flight-following websites and Twitter accounts that offer real-time views of air traffic are on the end of regular pushback ranging from complaints to gear seizures by those who would rather their movements are not in the public domain. One U.S.-based group alone gets dozens of “requests” each year to stop posting aircraft flight movements, according to its organiser, Dan Streufert. “We have not removed anything so far. This is all public information. And I don’t want to be the arbiter of who’s right and who’s wrong,” added Streufert, founder of flight tracking site ADS-B Exchange which can track any flight from a private individual to a politician, star, activist or member of Royalty. The AFP report sets out limits do apply in some cases, but groups that piece together the flight paths note the core information source is legally available and open to anyone with the right gear to take it fully into the public domain. Under U.S. rules, planes in designated areas are required to be equipped with ADS-B technology that broadcasts aircraft positions using signals that relatively simple equipment can pick up. It outlines what happens next: A service like Sweden-based Flightradar24 has 34,000, mostly volunteer-operated receivers around the world to pick up the signals, a key source of information that’s routed back to a central network and combined with data on flight schedules and aircraft information. Figuring out or confirming to whom a plane actually belongs can require some sleuthing, said jet tracker Jack Sweeney, who filed a public records request with the US government that yielded a form bearing the signature of a particular plane’s owner: Tesla boss Elon Musk. Sweeney has drawn attention with his Twitter account that tracks the movements of the billionaire’s plane and even rejected Musk’s offer of $5,000 to shut down @ElonJet, which has over 480,000 followers. Source

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