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Teen who tracked Elon Musk's jet is now tracking planes of Russian oligarchs

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Posted at 12:52 PM, Mar 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-02 15:52:24-05

A Florida college student who shot to internet fame recently after he began tracking the private jets of billionaires like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, is now tracking flight paths of the planes of Russian oligarchs.

19-year-old Jack Sweeney has now started the new automated accounts on Twitter: @RUOligarchJets and @Putinjet, which follow some of Russia's richest people, in their planes.

The accounts gained somewhere around 300,000 followers just days after some of the toughest sanctions since Russia invaded Ukraine had been levied onto Russia's banks and its most powerful.

Sweeney's is able to publish real-time movements by going around data from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration that would allow plane owners to block this kind of tracking, according to Forbes.

The account @Putinjet publicizes the movements of aircraft associated with Russian President Vladimir Putin. As the Wall Street Journal reported, Sweeney said that he made the new automated Twitter bots over the weekend after Russia invaded Ukraine.

Sweeney told Bloomberg in an interview, "The aircrafts these oligarchs have are absolutely crazy."

As CNN noted, some of Russia's richest are traveling on commercial-sized aircraft like the Airbus A319 and Boeing's 737.

"Their planes are huge compared to other jets," Sweeney said.

In January, tech titan Elon Musk offered Sweeney $5,000 to close the automated Twitter account @ElonJet.

"Can you take this down?," Musk wrote. "It's a security risk."

"I don't love the idea of being shot by a nutcase," Musk continued.

As CNN reported, Sweeney countered the offer with $50,000. The deal fell through when Musk said that it didn't feel right to pay to shut down the account.