Sunday, 30 April, 2017

Man Charged With Cyberstalking After Sending Tweet to Epileptic Reporter

Getty Images Getty Images
Cecilia Poole | 19 March, 2017, 01:01

Eichenwald went on a Twitter spree Friday with claims the tweeter is just one person in a group of 40 people who sent strobes with the intention of triggering seizures.

John Rayne Rivello, 29, of Salisbury, Maryland, was arrested Friday in Maryland after sending a message via Twitter to Dallas reporter Kurt Eichenwald on December 15, 2016.

Additional news outlets have also confirmed the arrest was made this morning through Federal Bureau of Investigation spokespersons.

After reading the post and falling to the ground in his Dallas home, Eichenwald's wife, Theresa, rushed to help him. On the night of the attack, Eichenwald appeared on Fox News' "Tucker Carlson Tonight" to discuss a tweet he wrote claiming Trump wouldn't release his medical records because he had a nervous breakdown in 1990.

Meanwhile, Newsweek identified the suspect as John Rivello, who was arrested early Friday at his residence in Salsbury, Maryland.

"You deserve a seizure for your post", he is alleged to have written.

Eichenwald, who has previously written about being epileptic, claimed late past year he was the victim of a Twitter user aiming to induce a seizure with the flashing GIF.

"Those direct messages included statements by Rivello, including 'I hope this sends him into a seizure, ' 'Spammed this at [victim] let's see if he dies, ' and 'I know he has epilepsy, '" the Justice Department wrote.

Investigators found a screenshot on his iCloud account of an altered Wikipedia page for Mr Eichenwald, falsely listing his date of death as 16 December, a day after the image was sent.

It also exposed a terrifying way people with epilepsy can be attacked online.

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. "Stop sending them", Eichenwald tweeted Friday.

The unusual case has revealed how apparently innocent online tools can be deployed as weapons capable of physical injury. You may joke to your mates that a flashing light or strobing animation gave you epilepsy.

Eichenwald said on Friday the suspect faces federal charges and is expected to be indicted by the Dallas District Attorney in the next few days. 'It triggers a physical effect'.

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