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Understanding Taylor Swift’s ‘Cease and Desist’ Letter

The lives of celebrities have always been a mystery. With Taylor Swift, her flight information is no longer a secret… nor a surprise.

Taylor Swift performs at the 2019 Jingle Ball | Credit: Shutterstock/Brian Friedman

The lives of celebrities have always been a mystery: What do they do in their free time? How do they travel so quickly? How many properties do they own? With Taylor Swift, her flight information is no longer a secret… nor a surprise.

TIME’s 2023 Person of the Year came under scrutiny this year when their, as well as other 200 celebrities, private jet lifestyle reports were released. The 2022 report by the sustainability marketing firm, Yard ranked Swift as the No. 1 celebrity contributor for carbon-dioxide pollution, creating national concern for its environmental impact.

Swift’s spokespersons claimed at the time that the star’s jet was “loaned out” regularly. While Swift now owns one private jet, X (previously known as Twitter) user, @taylorswiftjets, claims the starlet produced 138 tons of carbon-dioxide to date. Approximately 2,000 trees needed to be planted to repair the damage.

The pop star’s legal team sent a legal letter on December to the X user, a Florida university student named Jack Sweeney, to take down his account dedicated to tracking her private jets. This is not the first time Sweeney has come under fire, his other X account, @ElonJet, where he tracked X owner, Elon Musk‘s private jets, and received legal threats and an account suspension from Musk.

Sweeney tracks flight data from a public website,, where 800 contributors send data from their receivers, where they receive aircraft transponder signals. In January, Swift’s legal team sent multiple complaints and reports on Sweeney’s website, allegedly claiming he is harming Swift. While this is not the first time a celebrity “Cease and Desist” letter has been sent to civilians, let’s break down the legalities and meaning of this letter.

According to the Cornell Law School, a cease and desist letter is “a cautionary letter sent to an alleged wrongdoer.” The letter describes the alleged misconduct and demands that the action must stop. The letter acts as a legal notice that action will be taken if the wrongdoer continues with their misconduct. To add, the letter can also be a warning to stop harassment, copyright infringement, or libel to the victim.

It is important to note that Swift’s letter is sent through her legal team, Venable LLP, rather than herself. As of now, the star has not taken legal action against Sweeney.

First Page of Swift’s Cease-and-Desist Letter

For the past year, through these Offending Accounts, you have engaged in stalking and harassing behavior, including consistently publishing real-time and precise information about our Client’s location and future whereabouts to the public on social media ...

You are notorious for disregarding the personal safety of others in exchange for public attention and/or requests for financial gainWhile this may be a game to you, or an avenue that you hope will earn you wealth or fame, it is a life-or-death matter for our Client

Venable LLP

The letter starts by alleging Sweeney engages, or has engaged, in stalking behavior, however, there is no definitive proof. Sweeney himself has stated multiple times that he uses public information to track celebrities’ flights. Swift’s lawyers also claim that this is a “life-or-death” matter to her, however, there is no proof of imminent harm that Sweeney might take towards her. The letter only mentions other examples of stalkers and attempted assault, but none that relate to the current flight information.

Second Page of Swift’s Cease-and-Desist Letter

  • “So many people obsessed with Taylor’s private life, it’s scary and pathetic.” (December 17, 2023);
  • “This is creepy bro. Youre literally stalking her.” (September 22, 2023);
  • “this account is so weird and invasive” (July 12, 2023).

Yet, your unlawful behavior continues.

Your willful and repeated harassment of our Client is in violation of several state lawsTo be clear, there is no justification for you to publicly identify our Client’s locationYour wrongful and dangerous actions must stop.

Venable LLP

Swift’s attorneys continue to allege Sweeney’s behavior is unlawful, when his information is sourced publicly, refuting this claim. Typically, in a cease and desist letter, Swift’s comments or potential witnesses are mentioned in case of a court date, however, Swift’s attorneys only show quotes from anonymous Instagram users. The probability that these users will show up to court to defend Swift is unlikely. The star’s team also says Sweeney’s actions are “in violation of several state laws,” but fails to address which ones.

Third Page of Swift’s Cease-and-Desist Letter

Remove all content related to our Client from the Offending Accounts, and immediately stop providing information about our Client’s location to the public. If you fail to adhere to these demands immediately, and by no later than close of business on December 26, 2023she will have no choice but to pursue any and all legal remedies available to her

Venable LLP

Overall, Swift’s attorneys fail to make a solid case for stalking and harassment from Sweeney. Despite the pop star’s flight information being public, the California statue cited at the bottom of the letter is strong enough to form a case against Sweeney if he did not comply to the attorney’s demands. Sweeney countered this argument by posting Swift’s flight information 24 hours after the trips happen.

As Sweeney’s account and posts made traction with his association with the pop star, he has now come under scrutiny for posing on a plane seat, possibly alluding to him flying on a private jet, thus, not caring for carbon emissions. The Forbes’ 30 Under 30 member responded to a comment on X, saying that the picture was taken at a National Business Aviation Association conference (NBAA), and has never flown on a private jet.

Sweeney released a response on X in late January through his company and legal team, GRNDCTRL LLC. His attorneys claim there is nothing unlawful about him posting public information, as well as citing articles and websites that also report on flight information. The 2-page letter ends with the law firm to direct all escalations to them, if any.

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Movie, pop-culture, travel, and fashion enthusiast. Determined to give a voice to everyone.

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