Elon Musk says rumors about his travel are a security issue

Elon Musk says rumors about his travel are a security issue

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is speaking out with concerns about his travel activity being shared.

In response to a tweet from self-described Tesla investor Sawyer Merritt announcing he wouldn’t be posting Musk’s travel plans anymore, Musk replied “it’s becoming a security issue.”

But others have declined to stop posting. A Twitter account known as Elon Musk’s Jet regularly posts activity about Musk’s private jet, including a recent tweet suggesting he arrived in Austin on Sunday as Giga Texas reaches the start of production.

The jet account made a case for sharing the flight information to its more than 82,000 followers.

People responded with mixed views on whether the account should be shut down or keep going.

The jet’s activity comes from ADS-B Exchange data, which launched in 2015 and describes itself as the “world’s largest unfiltered co-op of aircraft position data.” On its website, ADS-B addresses the question of whether it views its activity as a security risk.

“No. If aircraft do not want to be seen, (such as military aircraft on a mission) they can always turn their transponders “off.” The position data shown by ADSBexchange is available to anyone who can spend $50 on Amazon and put the parts together. It’s not secret.”

The jet Twitter account, which started up in June 2020, has made no plans to stop. As public interest in Musk intensified in recent years, his travel was reported on even before these accounts.

In 2019, the Washington Post did a story on the 150,000 miles Musk’s corporate jet logged in 2018. The newspaper had acquired the flight data from an industry official and its details were confirmed through Freedom of Information Act requests with the Federal Aviation Administration. Similar to the jet Twitter account, the data does not reveal who is on board the plane.

Musk occasionally makes his travel and whereabouts known. He disputed a rumor from website Drive Tesla CA saying he’d be going to Berlin, where another Tesla Gigafactory is located, this month. Musk commented that his travel plans there are for mid-February, which hinted at a potential start of production as the European factory waits for government approval. And on Tuesday, he tweeted that he’d just come from Giga Texas, saying “good progress!”

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