Although China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) earlier this week granted PC makers a reprieve from having to include the Green Dam-Youth Escort Internet filtering software with every PC sold in the country, the government today made it clear that it's only a matter of time before the mandate is reinstated.

Citing an anonymous MIIT official, the state-run China Daily newspaper reports that large domestic PC makers, including Lenovo Group, Tsinghua Tongfang, Founder Technology Group and Haier Group, will "install the filter as they were told." Some manufacturers have included a disclaimer with new PCs that the makers would not be responsible for damage caused by Green Dam, which has been criticized as insecure, flawed and intrusive.

An Acer spokeswoman told the Associated Press that Green Dam disks had already been packed with the company's PCs before the government postponed the plan. Taiwan's Asus Inc. said it was preparing to do the same. Taiwanese laptop maker BenQ Inc., said the system was on the hard drives of its computers, according to the AP.

Hewlett-Packard and Dell have been quiet on the subject, stating only that they are working with the U.S. government to get more information or declining to comment all together, several publications report. U.S. government officials have sent a letter to their Chinese counterparts complaining that computer makers were given virtually no notice of the mandate ahead of time, possibly violating World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.

Image © Robert Churchill