I work as a Team Manager on the support department for one of the larger of those suppliers - I'll leave you to guess which
Removal without a password/activation key is relatively simple.
NI has two services which run, and an LSP in the TCP/IP stack that intercepts URLs and sends them to the service for checking.
The services are labelled "Netintelligence Client" (exact wording may vary as this is from memory) and "Service Monitor". The second is there to reinstall/restart the first if it breaks.
If the LSP is removed while the services are still running, the services will reinstall it.
If one service notices the other is stopped or disabled, it will re-enable it.
You need to open services.msc and disable both services quickly, as they only check the other every 20 seconds or so. Then verify both services are stopped and not running.
Once this is done, the LSP will just reject all internet requests as it cannot contact the services. You can remove the LSP in the registry, or easily with this tool : http://www.cexx.org/lspfix.htm
The one to remove is "NIHLP.DLL" or something very close from that, again writing this from memory.
After a reboot, NI will be inert and the directory can be deleted if you like.
While the software is annoying, you can understand it on something like this. These laptops were provided to low income families etc, and were for the express purpose of helping with the child's education. Social networking, chat sites, porn, etc were important to block.
Imagine the scenario of a child with one of these laptops getting stalked, abducted, raped, and murdered by someone they met in a chat room. The Sun would pick up a story like that and run it with a headline of "GOVERNMENT SCHEME A GOLDMINE FOR PAEDOPHILES".
EDIT: I should probably mention that disabling the services first is important, advice you will find online in a lot of places will just tell you to remove the LSP. This may work for a while but the services will autoupdate themselves still and the latest versions of them will reinstall the LSP, although they didn't always do this.
Edited by nemeth782 (Thu 12-Apr-12 11:34:00)