Troll who sent journalist with epilepsy a strobing GIF arrested by Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Author: Leroy Wright Mar 18, 2017,
Mar 18, 2017, 3:54
Authorities have arrested a man who allegedly sent a message to a Newsweek reporter to trigger a seizure. Back in 2008, an online forum for people suffering from epilepsy was filled with similar images, with numerous people reporting seizures from the incident.
Eichenwald said he received the unsafe message after appearing on the Fox News show, Tucker Carlson Tonight, where he bickered with the host about political biases back in December.
Officials say a search warrant of Rivello's Twitter account revealed direct messages between Rivello and others with statements bragging about what he sent. "I have your information and have called the police to report the assault".
Investigators say the search warrant also showed a screenshot of Eichenwald's Wikipedia page in Rivello's iCloud account, with the page being edited to list Eichenwald's death as December 16, 2016. John Rivello, from Salisbury, Maryland, was due in court today on charges of cyberstalking.
Rivello was taken into custody in Salisbury on Friday, March 17, Federal Bureau of Investigation officials said.
Lieberman said that this tweet wasn't an effort to curb free speech, equating it to sending an envelope of Anthrax spores or a bomb to someone. 'It triggers a physical effect'.
On Friday, Eichenwald tweeted that the suspect was in custody and facing federal charges, a fact Gizmodo later confirmed with the FBI in Dallas. However, his cyber-assailant filed a John Doe legal motion to gag Twitter, calling the journalist's lawsuit an "attempt to use his suit to chill the First Amendment and further embarrass and harass Doe".
Epileptic seizures can be fatal; your humble hack lost a fellow journalist and friend to the condition.
Additional evidence received pursuant to a search warrant showed Rivello's iCloud account contained a screenshot of a Wikipedia page for the victim, which had been altered to show a fake obituary with the date of death listed as December 16, 2016, the news release states. You may joke to your mates that a flashing light or strobing animation gave you epilepsy.