Enough Is Enough (organization)

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Enough Is Enough
Enough is Enough logo.gif
Founded 1992
Founder Dee Jepsen, Sarah Blanken, Monique Nelson
Focus Protecting children and families against Internet pornography
Method Public advocacy and congressional lobbying
Key people
Donna Rice Hughes, President & Chair
Slogan Making the Internet Safer for Children and Families
Website http://www.enough.org/

Enough Is Enough is an American non-profit organization whose stated purpose is to make the Internet safer for families and children. It carries out lobbying efforts in Washington, D.C., and played a role in the passage of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, the Child Online Protection Act of 1998, and the Children's Internet Protection Act of 2000. The group is based in the Commonwealth of Virginia.[1] They sometimes refer to themselves acronymically as EIE.

Founding and staff[edit]

Enough Is Enough was founded in 1992 as part of the U.S. anti-pornography movement, but shifted its focus in 1994 to confront online pornography, child pornography, child stalking, and sexual predation.[2][3]

The organization's co-founder and first president was Dee Jepsen, wife of former U.S. Senator from Iowa Roger Jepsen.[4] Other co-founders were Sarah Blanken and Monique Nelson.[5] Its president and chair since 2002 has been Donna Rice Hughes, who first joined the group in 1994 and was vice president of marketing and public relations.[3][6] As Donna Rice, she had received considerable attention as the "other woman" in the Gary Hart Monkey Business affair during the previous decade.[4][7] In her new role as an activist, she neither hid nor promoted her former fame,[4] but the activity helped her overcome her sexually stigmatized past.[8] Future Delaware political candidate Christine O'Donnell worked for the group for a while starting in 1993.[9]


By 1995, Enough Is Enough was engaging in community-level actions to get across their view of the effects of pornography upon society, such as raiding magazine stands, protesting against adult businesses, and speaking on radio and television talk shows.[5]

The group effectively lobbied the U.S. Congress to include restrictions against online obscenity in the Communications Decency Act of 1996.[2][4] This included showing U.S. Senators graphic images from the Internet of bondage, bestiality and pedophilia that were available to all users of all ages.[7] Opposition to the bill came strongly from the ACLU. Senator James Exon of Nebraska, co-sponsor of the measure, credited Jepsen and Hughes with helping to find common ground between Christian conservatives and pro-business Republicans on the issue,[4] groups that had been feuding.[7] Hughes emphasized that "We want to do everything we can to protect children against pornography. But we want a bill that will be constitutional and will be effective."[7] The group's connections in Washington helped that coalition succeed in passing the legislation,[10] and Jepsen and Hughes became recognized as influential lobbyists.[7]

The group filed a legal brief in the 1997 U.S. Supreme Court case Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union in favor of upholding that law;[11] the Court instead ruled large parts of it unconstitutional.[8] By 1998, Hughes had become a nationally recognized campaigner against online pornography.[8] Steve Case, CEO of America Online, called her "a key voice in the debate over how we best build this new medium and make it a safe place for families," and she won personal praise from legislative opponents such as U.S. Representative Christopher Cox and compliments from pornography advocate Larry Flynt.[8]

The group lobbied for the Child Online Protection Act of 1998, intended to replace those parts of the previous act deemed unconstitutional.[1] The group and Hughes in particular were major force behind its eventual passage.[8] Jepsen said in that debate, "It is not a First Amendment issue. As our culture has become coarser, children have been robbed of their childhood."[1] This law also ran into problems in the courts. Enough Is Enough was among a number of groups who backed a substitute measure, the Children's Internet Protection Act of 2000,[2][12] which gained passage and was eventually upheld in the courts.

The group continued to get its message across by displaying to people some of the worst images found on the Internet.[8] The group also put out a twenty-page report entitled "Just Harmless Fun?" that portrayed what it believes are negative effects of pornography from a social science viewpoint.[13] The group also provided parental advice on appropriate websites for children and how to keep them away from the inappropriate ones.[13]

In 2009, Enough Is Enough criticized Microsoft's Bing search engine for displaying preview clips of videos on search results pages, and thus potentially exposing children to sexually themed content without actually clicking on it.[14] During 2010, the group criticized approval of the .xxx domain by ICANN, saying that it would allow pornography providers to co-locate content on both regular and specialty domains; Hughes predicted this would "dramatically increas[e] pornography's pollution of the Internet."[15]


  1. ^ a b c Aschoff, Susan (February 3–4, 1999). "Brave new cyberworld poses test for parents". St. Petersburg Times for The Deseret News. p. C2. 
  2. ^ a b c "History of EIE". Enough is Enough. Retrieved September 19, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "Donna Rice Hughes works for children". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. September 16, 1998. p. 2A. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "The 'other woman' turns activist". The Register-Guard. Eugene, Oregon. Associated Press. December 2, 1995. p. 10A. 
  5. ^ a b Lavin, Enrique (November 14, 1995). "Pornography Posse: Members of Enough Is Enough! Join in Battle Against Hard-Core Smut" (fee required). Los Angeles Times. p. 1. 
  6. ^ "Donna Rice Hughes, President and Chairman". Enough is Enough. Archived from the original on October 27, 2010. Retrieved September 19, 2010. 
  7. ^ a b c d e Andrews, Edmund L. (November 27, 1995). "Once Touched by Notoriety, Donna Rice Is Now in Limelight Fighting Smut". The New York Times. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f Swartz, Jon (November 9, 1998). "Donna Rice Says No Excuses for Net Porn: Gary Hart's ex-paramour has reinvented herself". San Francisco Chronicle. 
  9. ^ Gibson, Ginger (September 11, 2010). "Delaware politics: Senate primary hinges on character". The News Journal. New Castle, Delaware. 
  10. ^ "How the Decency Fight Was Won" (fee required). San Jose Mercury News. March 3, 1996. p. 1D. 
  11. ^ Macavinta, Courtney (March 19, 1997). "CDA backers focus on children". CNET News. 
  12. ^ Cromwell, Clarence William (January 11, 2001). "Compliance with legislation on computer filtering software not easy, officials say". The Argus-Press. Owosso, Michigan. p. 1. 
  13. ^ a b "American porn: Readings and links". Frontline. PBS. Retrieved September 19, 2010. 
  14. ^ Carnevale, Frank (June 4, 2009). "Microsoft's Bing Criticized For Porn". Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota: KMSP-TV. 
  15. ^ ".xxx Domain, Approved by ICANN, is a Bad Idea" (Press release). PR Newswire for Fox Business Network. June 25, 2010. [permanent dead link]

External links[edit]