College Students Responds To Cease & Desist

A college student who operates social media accounts tracking Taylor Swift's jet has received a threatening legal letter from the superstar's team, accusing him of "stalking and harassing" behavior.

Jack Sweeney, a 21-year-old junior at the University of Central Florida, runs the accounts under the handle @taylorswiftjets, sharing publicly available information on the pop star's flights and their estimated carbon emissions. Sweeney's attorneys have hit back at Swift, declaring there is "nothing unlawful" about tracking her jet and noting that he has also shared information about other public figures such as Russian oligarchs and Elon Musk.

In the letter, sent through Swift's attorneys at Venable law firm, the pop star accuses Sweeney of causing her "direct and irreparable harm, as well as emotional and physical distress." She claims that her constant state of fear for her personal safety has been heightened by his actions and demands that he stop his "stalking and harassing behavior" immediately. Swift's lawyers also accuse Sweeney of treating her safety "like a game" and warn that if he does not comply, she will have "no choice but to pursue any and all legal remedies."

In response, Sweeney's attorneys from Slater Legal PLLC state that the accounts' content is "protected speech" that does not violate any of Swift's legal rights. They also argue that Swift's team has not identified any specific legal claim against their client and that their response will "conclude the matter."

Furthermore, they accuse Swift's attorneys of attempting to intimidate and censor their client, as well as flirting with the idea of a "stalking claim" under California law, which requires a "credible threat" to be made against a victim.

Sweeney maintains that his intention is not to harm Swift, but rather to provide transparency and share public information. He believes that Swift's team is attempting to scare him into refraining from sharing this information, and claims to be "more careful" with what he posts about her since receiving the cease-and-desist letter.

The letter was sent in December, around the same time that Sweeney's accounts tracking Swift's jets on Facebook and Instagram were disabled. However, this is not the first time Sweeney has tracked someone's jet; he previously went head-to-head with Elon Musk for sharing the SpaceX CEO's jet's details.

Swift has faced criticism over her jet-setting lifestyle, particularly in regards to the environmental impact of her flights. Her most recent trip to Australia for her Era's tour sparked controversy over the estimated 138 tons of CO2 emission produced by her flights. The Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator equates this to the energy use of 17 houses in one year or the electricity use of 26.9 homes for one year. Critics have called on the singer to cut down on her travel and carbon emissions, but her team stands by her actions, noting that she has purchased more than double the carbon credits needed to offset all tour travel.

Many have also questioned Swift's frequent trips to see her new boyfriend, NFL player Travis Kelce, which have added to her jet's carbon emissions. A spokesperson for Swift states that she is working to lessen her jets' carbon impact by traveling less frequently than in previous years. They also mention that she routinely allows others to use her jet for travel, but there is no question that she has personally been on board for the trips between Kansas City, New York, and other cities where Kelce has been playing. However, it should be noted that Swift has also taken steps to mitigate her carbon footprint, such as purchasing excess carbon credits and donating to environmental organizations.

The letter from Swift's team comes amidst a recent arrest outside her Manhattan townhouse, with the timing suggesting a possible connection. The superstar has had to deal with stalkers showing up at her homes in the past and undoubtedly takes her safety and security very seriously.

While Sweeney's tracking of her jet may seem harmless, it could potentially reveal her whereabouts and schedule to anyone with access to the accounts. Ultimately, it is up to the courts to determine whether Sweeney's actions constitute harassment and whether Swift's response is justified. Until then, the public can only speculate and await a resolution to this ongoing legal battle.

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