A Tweet, a Strobe and a Seizure. Now, an Arrest.

‘When the journalist Kurt Eichenwald opened an animated image sent to him on Twitter last December, the message “You deserve a seizure for your posts” appeared in capital letters along with a blinding strobe light. Mr. Eichenwald, who has epilepsy, has said he immediately suffered a seizure.

On Friday, the F.B.I. said it had arrested and charged a man for sending the electronic file, though the agency did not immediately release the suspect’s name or specify the criminal charges.

The unusual case has shown how online tools can be deployed as weapons capable of physical harm. Mr. Eichenwald said the attacker used the strobe light knowing that the visual elements were likely to lead Mr. Eichenwald, who has publicly discussed his epilepsy, into a seizure.

Steven Lieberman, Mr. Eichenwald’s lawyer, has argued that the use of the strobe light in a GIF, or moving graphic, was akin to sending an explosive or poison in the mail.’

Source: New York Times

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