Elon Musk’s Twitter Suspends Live ADS-B Aircraft Tracking Accounts Including @elonjet and ADS-B Exchange
As a reaction to an altercation with a stalker that endangered Elon Musk's child, Twitter has taken action to suspend all Twitter accounts that involve the real time tracking of aircraft and individuals. This includes the famous @elonjet handle which was an account run by a teenager known as Jack Sweeny that used data from adsbexchange.com to tweet live updates on the location of Elon's private jet.
It also appears that the Twitter account for ADS-B Exchange @ADSBexhchange itself has been suspended too, as well as various other flight tracking Twitter bots that were using data from ADS-B Exchange. Elon Musk's tweet indicates that legal action is being taken against "Sweeney & organizations who supported harm to my family". It is unclear if this implies that legal action will be taken against ADS-B Exchange.
ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance–Broadcast) is a radio signal that is required to be broadcast by all aircraft for the purposes of air traffic control and collision avoidance. The ADS-B signal provides real time unencrypted location information that anyone with a low cost radio receiver like an RTL-SDR and cheap computer like a Raspberry Pi can receive, decode and turn into a live map of aircraft in the surrounding area.
ADS-B Exchange is an ADS-B aggregator that collects ADS-B data received from volunteers all over the world that are running RTL-SDR and other SDR dongles or radios operating as ADS-B receivers. Compared to more commercial flight tracking services like FlightAware and FlightRadar24 (who also make use of volunteer stations), ADS-B Exchange guarantees that they will not censor the tracking of military, police or private jets. This has generated debate in the past over whether this philosophy is either more moral or less moral.
ADS-B Exchange has been key to projects like "Dictator Alert" which tracks the real time location of the private jets of known dictators.
The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) has also made use of ADS-B Exchange data in the past to uncover the role that US civilian aircraft contractors are playing in the East African "kill chain".
Media have also used ADS-B Exchange to track the movements of the military aircraft like Black Hawk Helicopters and CBP Predator drones that were used to monitor crowds during the George Floyd protests.
On Twitter John Wiseman @lemonodor has also been using ADS-B Exchange data for various projects like "Advisory Circular Bots" which automatically detects circling aircraft (which may be of interest, as a circling aircraft may indicate an incident in the area), and for highlighting areas of the globe with possible GPS jamming which can be inferred from the GPS location data transmitted by aircraft. He also uncovered a massive, secret FBI operation involving the use of 'spy planes' operating over American cities.
Unrelated to ADS-B Exchange, live ADSB tracking is also used by hedge fund investors to gain an edge by tracking the movement of company aircraft in order to try and predict deals and by UN investigators investigating arms embargo violations.
Previously Elon Musk indicated that he would not ban the account following his private jet, however after the stalker altercation he appears to have rapidly changed his tune. Even without the Twitter bot, private jets can easily be tracked via ADS-B Exchange so any dedicated person could still gather this information without too much hassle. So it seems likely that legal action will be taken against ADS-B Exchange as per Elon's tweet. Other ADS-B data aggregators like FlightRadar24 and FlightAware should be safe from legal action as they do censor private aircraft upon request. Hopefully ADS-B exchange has prepared for this legal battle, which was probably an inevitable unfortunate outcome from their policy. If not from private jet owners, then the military or police would likely eventually take action if the data ever became a problem.
People’s obsession with “social media” like this “twitter” site has always fascinated me. I can not relate in the least, and it is therefore quite amusing for me to see all of this coping and seething over this meaningless web domain. Seems that many people nowadays have no real life and must live inside their emotions, emotions which appear to be under total control of whatever they read on the internet. Anthropologists someday will give this mental disorder a name, I wonder what it will be.
its not radio enthusiast who sharing there hobby in the end its about money and politics who have secrets and not like sharing with common public. In Europe in the past century we seen where this ends to but our memory is not go further as the display our smartphone, today.
No matter what you think of Elon Musk it appears this qualifies as a violation of the Communications Act of 1934, Section 705:
> Except as authorized by chapter 119, title 18, United States Code, no person receiving,
> assisting in receiving, transmitting, or assisting in transmitting, any interstate or foreign
> communication by wire or radio shall divulge or publish the existence, contents, substance,
> purport, effect, or meaning thereof, except through authorized channels of transmission
> or reception, (1) to any person other than the addressee, his agent, or attorney, (2) to a
> person employed or authorized to forward such communication to its destination, (3) to
> proper accounting or distributing officers of the various communicating centers over which
> the communication may be passed, (4) to the master of a ship under whom he is serving,
> (5) in response to a subpena issued by a court of competent jurisdiction, or (6) on demand
> of other lawful authority.
I haven’t bothered to look at Title 18 and there’s plenty more in the Communications Act of 1934 than Section 705, but my summary understanding was always you can listen but you can’t divulge. Is there another law that applies here that would make this not true?
what about track cellphones, track wifi modems, track ships, track cars, track satellite all data show 24/7 on google maps the 99% have no idea what is going on.
How dare you use logic! Lmao. They track every bit of our lives, but us tracking them is a “no-no”. This makes me track them even more, just for fun. Ideally, we all archive our personal tracking activities so that the data can later be uploaded to the internet someday if the activities that we monitored become useful later.
What part of any of this makes you think this data is someone’s “private communications”?
The location of a jet out in the world isn’t communications and it’s certainly not private. And access to this information by the media has proven very valuable in helping shine a light on some sketchy characters, so it is a public good more than a safety risk. Elon’s attitude change on this is just another sign that he‘s turning more into a dictator and doesn’t actually care about free speech in the slightest.
Ham Radio operator here. Never signed such document. Maybe it depends on the country you’re in?
The Genie is out of the bottle, radio hackers have no sense of law, did you know all licences radio amateurs and licenced operators have to sign a declaration of radio and telecommunication secrecy, because ADSB and SDR activities is in the new domain old regulations do not apply
Return to VK with your no sense stories …
Radio amateur do not sign secret stuff … you live like almost all pro war russians in 3rd dimensions ?
If you do not EMIT any data … you just receive them ! All ADSB signal are wide open to be received !
All military russian planes shut down their TP … why do you think ? Because EU / US has nothing to hide !
I think both sides are corrupt and fighting a pretend war that is about transferring money. Remember, Ukraine was the #1 place to go for the rich and corrupt politicians and business people who wanted to have sex with a child, but didn’t want to travel to a 3rd world country to do it. 1 in 6 prostitutes in Ukraine were children even just a few years ago? I think Putin and Zelensky are on the same side and their cohorts are all getting filthy rich off of this “war” while the common people suffer.
You look well aware about child sex …
Pathetic … you forget just COVID in your blablabla …. And why adding NATO … Nato is defensive … since CCCP Collapse all NATO countries lowered amount of money for army and RUSSIA expanded it …
Show us which country NATO invaded ? None …
Show us which country Russia invaded ? Georgia , Ukraina, Moldavia , Syria Base ? And next will be Belarus with Lukashenko puppet…
I don’t know what kind of denial you need to be experiencing to think that NATO is defensive. I live in a NATO country and my country has participated in mass murder of civilians for many decades. The war in Iraq? Fake proofs of “WMD” so that NATO countries could go in and enrich themselves. Countless innocent civilians murdered for the fake story of WMD. And that isn’t even the latest country invaded by NATO, have you heard of Syria? What about the “Gulf War”? What about Vietnam? All wars created with lies that resulted in rich and corrupt politicians and corporations becoming richer, and countless innocent civilians dying. There is ALWAYS a diplomatic solution, there always has been. And Zelensky cares nothing for his people, he is an actor, he has always been an actor, he acts on television now just as he did before. And the people suffer. And you take the side of the corrupt politicians. What a joke. Just like in the USA where the two political parties “Republicans” and “Democrats” are the same exact party, NATO countries and Russia are no different. They cause suffering of the people, and further enrichment of the rich and add more power to the corrupt and powerful people who run the world. Wake up. You are asleep.
nope not sign anything
I know this story is kind of related to SDR, but it seems weak reporting on this here. I don’t need to see politics and paranoid news stories from an egotistical, narcissistic idiot on this site. What he says makes no difference to us.
If he takes legal action against ADS-B Exchange it kind of does affect many readers of this blog, as many here are feeders for ADS-B exchange. It also sets a message that crowd sourced aggregation of data from radios can be legally dangerous. Even without crowd aggregation, sharing ADS-B data from a personal station near an airport could become legally problematic.
Under FCC and other spectrum regulators it’s indeed a grey legal area
The FCC is irrelevant for any type of reception. Much like in east germany where people would hide antennas underneath their roof so they could receive broadcasts from west germany, anyone can hide as many SDR as they want in their car or laptop or whatever, receive whatever they want, and as computing advances, decrypt what they want. If you are not transmitting, I don’t think you should care one bit about what the FCC thinks. If they make broadcasting plane data “illegal” then people will just move it to more anonymous channels.
Because musk is a bytes guy live in his own world, he think this only function with internet, while he do not understand any individual able to make a ADSB tracker and share information using any network or transceiver.
Money give people power and make this world go around. Do not trust people with power against you.
Adsbexchange is hobby killer like Broadcastify – thanks to public police streams, the encryption is killing scanning hobby. Don’t share data to Adsbexchange, be a member of a private mlat network in you area.
Even if you can not decrypt the streams, you can do direction finding, multilateration, or other methods on their transmissions and go driving around looking for what’s happening. This actually makes the hobby even more fun. In time, they will all move to IP radios over 5G or sattelite anyway, so the lifespan of this particular branch of the hobby has a finite lifespan regardless.
Funny thinks happening in the world this very moment, and we all sit and watch while one men money tyranny starts happening in front of our eyes. I think this go step to far. There are many many hardware tech.
If his family’s lives (or anyone else’s for that matter) were endangered then he is totally justified.
I think the question to ask is, would the response have been the same (suspending 7 journalists, ADSB exchange, the elonjet account, the Mastodon account, and marking links to Mastodon as malware) if it hadn’t had been Elon’s family?
Given the rampant amount of background abuse (including outright threats of physical violence) that goes reported and unpunished on Twitter, I think we already know the answer.
One thing we all can do, leave or stay away from twitter, facebook, telegram and all big date, but 70% have addiction to share there lives and those da**e smartphones.
Problem in illegal military planes that comes to private properties without permission, is that they dont use any ADS-B.
There is a encrypted SSR mode using 1030/1090Mhz already in use, also many countries have combined military and civil ATC and it’s still possible to be seen by ATC but hidden from the ADSB trackers
Encrypted SSR, wow, you are completely wrong.
@Albiorix : Although Frank poorly worded his reply (speaking of SSR), You do know that IFF Mark XII (Mode 4) & Mark XIIa (Mode 5) are a thing, right ?
I avoid social media in general as it is toxic, unhealthy, and in my opinion a waste of time. Got tired of the hypocrisy from this nut and deleted my Twitter account and will avoid at all costs clicking on links that take me to that site. He promised “freedom of speech”, but apparently only until it pisses him off. No different than what he railed against before he took over
It’s all about “freedom of speech” until he himself becomes inconvenienced. Also I think that’s a picture of a car Elon, not a plane.
Using information about where Elon’s plane is in real time makes it easy to know where to drive ones car to where you might find him. I don’t know if this applies in this particular instance but Mr. Musk apparently decided he didn’t want to take any chances about being, as you put it, “inconvenienced”.
When did adsbexchange.com start providing passenger manifests?