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Student tracking Taylor Swift’s private jet responds to cease and desist

Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times/TNS

NEW YORK — The college student who made a name — and enemy — for himself tracking Taylor Swift’s private jet is challenging the pop star’s cease and desist letter.

Jack Sweeney, who runs the company GRNDCTRL and ran the now-defunct Instagram account @taylorswiftjets, tweeted his lawyer’s two-page response to Swift’s attorney, Katie Wright Morrone, captioning the letter: “Look What You Made Me Do.” The caption, as Swifties know, was the title of the lead single from the 2017 album “Reputation.”

“Put simply, there is nothing unlawful about GRNDCTRL’s use of publicly accessible information to track private jets, including those used by public figures like Taylor Swift,” states Sweeney’s lawyer, James Slater. “GRNDCTRL used the same information to track sanctioned Russian oligarchs and Elon Musk. … The @taylorswiftjets account is engaged in protected speech that does not violate any of Ms. Swift’s legal rights.”

Sweeney’s camp points out that Morrone failed “to identify any legal claim.


“Only in a footnote … do you flirt with asserting a stalking claim under California law — but the language just before the words you quote explains that a stalker is someone who makes a ‘credible threat’ against a victim,” continues Slater.

In addition to Sweeney and his company having “never made any threats against” the “Anti-Hero” singer, Slater notes that the Morrone’s letter “does not suggest they have done so.

“Further, your letter’s tone of alarm is unfounded,” Slater continues, noting GRNDCTRL “only provides the location of private jets using publicly available information” which “poses no threat” to the superstar.

Slater dismissed Swift’s letter as “a groundless effort to intimidate and censor” Sweeney and his company and pledged to defend both should she “pursue meritless legal action.”

In a subsequent tweet, the University of Central Florida student also shared Morrone’s letter to him from Dec. 22 of last year.

Swift has recently faced renewed criticism for her significant carbon footprint, especially as the flight tracker battle takes center stage. Last month, she sold one of her private jets.

Morrone in her letter called the tracking of Swift’s jets a “life-or-death matter,” claiming there’s “no legitimate interest in or public need for this information, other than to stalk, harass, and exert dominion and control.”

Swift has indeed been stalked multiple times — including as recently as earlier this year, when superfan David Crowe allegedly repeatedly showed up at her Tribeca townhouse.