John Rayne Rivello has been arrested on charges of criminal cyberstalking with the intent to kill or cause bodily harm following a measured cyber attack on journalist Kurt Eichenwald.
Kurt Eichenwald writes for Newsweek and other publications. As a political writer, he is accustomed to dealing with angry trolls online. However, his verbal online sparring with critics took a dangerous turn in December.
Eichenwald, who is epileptic, opened an animated GIF sent to him on Twitter by an anonymous account. The image included repeated strobe-like flashes with a message that read “you deserve a seizure for your posts” in all caps. Eichenwald immediately suffered a seizure.
Last week, FBI agents arrested John Rivello, who sent the message. He has been charged with criminal cyberstalking with the intent to kill or cause bodily harm. He was also charged with felony assault with a hate crime enhancement on Monday by the Dallas County District Attorney’s office.
Who Is Kurt Eichenwald?
Kurt Eichenwald, 55, is an American journalist who currently works as a senior writer at Newsweek and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. He is also a New York Times best-selling author of four books, including The Informant which was made into a movie in 2009.
Eichenwald is a two-time winner of the George Polk Award for Excellence in Journalism (1995, 1997) for his coverage of the dialysis industry and fraud at Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corporation, the country’s largest hospital company. The New York City native was also a finalist for the 2000 Pulitzer Prize, along with his New York Times coworker Gina Kolata, for an investigation of medical clinical trials.