A group of Brazilian physicists launched a campaign among the country's academic community to boycott the US computer giant Dell.
The campaign is due to Dell's demand that its products not be handed over to citizens of some countries, including Cuba, the daily Folha de Sao Paulo said Wednesday in its online edition.
According to the report, Brazilian nuclear physicist Paulo Gomes of the Federal Fluminense University (UFF), tried to purchase two computers for his laboratory two weeks ago.
He was asked to sign a document vowing not to use them in the production of weapons of mass destruction and not to hand them over to citizens of countries hostile to the United States.
"We will not transfer, export or re-export, directly or indirectly, any product(s) acquired from Dell to Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and/or Syria, or any nationals thereof, or to any other country subject to restriction," Dell's export compliance document states.
The export compliance document is a standard US government requirement designed to prevent sensitive equipment from reaching hostile hands.
But the demands angered the Brazilian physicist, who refused to sign the document.
"I do not have to justify my actions before anyone, and I am not obliged to follow US policies. I am a buyer. I am not receiving a donation. Besides, I have ties with Cuban physicists, and I will not renounce those," Gomes said.
The physicist said he will return the two computers as long as Dell refunds the full purchase price and sends a letter to the Physics Institute at UFF justifying the restrictions.
Dell spokeswoman Amy King told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa that the company is obliged to follow US laws and regulations regarding exports and would not comment on specific cases.
Gomes sent a report on the controversy to Brazilian Minister of Science and Technology Sergio Rezende and to the Brazilian Physics Society (SBF), which, according to the scientist, will recommend to its members that they stop buying Dell computers. dpa ag re vs ff