Eileen Groshong: The Ball Gag of U.S. Probation in Oregon

Blast Zone No. 63
Set Up On:
Current Courthouse Location:
1000 SW Third Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97204
New Conditions Sought in My Case:
Eileen Groshong - Ball Gag
Eileen Groshong - Ball Gag

Whenever I have run into a problem with any probation officer that I have had they tend to blame it on their supervisor. That supervisor is Eileen Groshong according to the latest paperwork that I have received and according to it she is trying to put a digital ball gag on me to protect correctional partners of hers from the truth. I've previously written about problems with IPPC Technologies and her office is now trying to ban me from posting about them and trying to force me to remove anything that I have said. I have a First Amendment right to tell my story and I will not let a digital ball gag shut me up.

In the past I have had my right to use computers repeatedly denied to me and have been told by probation officers that it is out their hands. Their supervisor does not want me using computers. This is despite case law like U.S. v. Goddard (537 F.3d 1087) that clearly states people are to have practical use of computers at home and at work. So, even before computer bans were outlawed in this circuit I should have been able to use one. Now her office seeks to re-instate the now unlawful condition prohibiting computer use without their permission.

In addition her office seeks to impose additional conditions that make practical computer use impossible under the circumstances. One such condition reads "Defendant shall not uninstall, tamper with or alter, rewrite, disassemble, reverse compile, make derivative works or programs of computer monitoring software. Defendant shall not seek to evade computer monitoring on any device or utilize any program, script, code or method by which the computer monitoring software can be overridden, nullified or avoided." The problem with this is that there is little tech support available for people unless they can access the internet. For instance, my first install resulted in my computer being rendered inoperable by a tug of war between IPPC Impulse Control and Malwarebytes Premium. Now, I concede that I should have noticed that IPPC clearly stated that the free version of Malwarebytes was compatible and looked into downgrading it before the install, but I dropped the ball. Still, I had a problem that could have only been solved by someone using Safe Mode or doing a system restore before using the internet to re-install the software. Had this condition been imposed I would most likely still be stuck with a non-functioning computer because I am not aware of any support offered by probation or IPPC that would allow someone else to fix the computer.

Further censorship is being sought that reads "Do not access the Internet except to obtain employment, to perform the duties of defendant's employment, to engage in online banking and bill pay, to communicate with U.S. Probation, to communicate with defendant's attorney, to conduct legal research specific to motions filed by the defendant and to engage in religious activities unless expressly authorized in advance by the probation officer." This would effectively prohibit me from any number of lawful activities that are not related to the offense of conviction at all. The law is quite clear in the Ninth Circuit that conditions have to be reasonably related to the crime. Then they say " The defendant is prohibited from posting, and shall remove or cause the removal of any internet posting, blog entry, comment or other publicly accessible bulletin board which was made by defendant and which refers to "IPPC" or "paycomputermonitoring.com" that identifies any exploit, workaround, vulnerability or method by which to defeat or avoid the intended operation of monitoring software." This condition would shut me out from the lawfully protected First Amendment activity of criticizing bad companies. I was reasonable in offering to amend my work should the company improve, but they did not. Therefore I will not censor my criticism because they don't like seeing their correctional partners put on blast. If Ms. Groshong does not want a repeat of this incident she should tell her partners to provide services of reasonable quality and tell her officers to refrain from telling people not to access the internet when there is a problem with the software. After all, providing monitoring solutions is not my job. If the next monitoring company is as bad as the last one I have the right to call them out for it and I will.

As a result of her office I was unable to seek work for many months and even now I have to do so under threat of being locked up again just because I had to disable a defective computer program. The appropriate response to a problem like that is to give the person a different software program to use. One that is not over 3 months out of date and incompatible with the current version of Windows. I am not saying they need to discontinue IPPC entirely, but I do recommend only using them with clients that use other operating systems like a Mac or an older version of Windows.

Finally, I did not uninstall IPPC as the uploaded document alleges. I had to disable it using Autoruns and that does not violate a release condition requiring the installation of monitoring software. I also did not post defamatory information about IPPC or tamper with their system. My reviews have been negative, I admit, but truth is a defense to defamation and my reviews are truthful. Also, nobody needs to tamper with IPPC's system in order to keep the software from running.

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