Kurt Eichenwald, a journalist who writes for Vainness Truthful and Newsweek, tweeted Friday that the FBI had arrested a person suspected of purposefully sending him a GIF that triggered an epileptic seizure.
(Warning: Comparable quickly flashing GIFs have been posted as replies to that hyperlink.)
The Division of Justice confirmed in a press release that John Rayne Rivello, 29, of Salisbury, Maryland, was arrested riday on federal fees of cyberstalking a Dallas sufferer. That sufferer is presumably Eichenwald, although his id wasn't launched within the assertion.
Eichenwald has written brazenly about his epilepsy in years previous. In December 2016, a Twitter consumer with the deal with @jew_goldstein despatched him a strobing GIF, which induced a seizure. In accordance with Eichenwald, the tweet got here with the message: "You deserve a seizure."
The incident occurred after he appeared on tv and criticized then-President-elect Donald Trump's insurance policies.
After the incident, Eichenwald took a brief break from Twitter, however not earlier than he stated he would press charges towards those that despatched comparable pictures. He stated greater than 40 strobe photographs have been despatched to him.
Along with the FBI, the Dallas Police, the Dallas County District Lawyer, the US Lawyer in Dallas and the Division of Homeland Safety are concerned within the case.
The grievance was unsealed in the present day following Rivello's preliminary look in US District Courtroom in Maryland.
In accordance with the affidavit, Rivello's Twitter account contained direct messages from Rivello's account to different Twitter customers in regards to the sufferer, the Justice Division stated.
"These direct messages included statements by Rivello, together with 'I hope this sends him right into a seizure,' 'Spammed this at [victim] let's examine if he dies,' and 'I do know he has epilepsy,'" the Justice Division wrote.
As well as, Rivelo's iCloud account allegedly contained a screenshot of a Wikipedia web page for the sufferer, which had been altered to point out a pretend obituary with the date of demise listed as Dec. 16, 2016. It additionally contained screenshots from Epilepsy.com with an inventory of generally reported epilepsy seizure triggers, and from Dallasobserver.com discussing the sufferer's report back to the Dallas Police Division and his try and determine the Twitter consumer, in accordance with the Justice Division.
First revealed March 17, 12:27 p.m. PT.
Replace, three:19 p.m. PT: With affirmation from the Justice Division, defendant's identify and extra particulars from the affidavit.