Fortisbanque Luxembourg's (formerly BGL) Web Banking has an obnoxious browser check on its login page, which shuts out most web browsers. Only Firefox and the notoriously insecure Internet Explorer are allowed in, whereas many other products, such as Konqueror, Safari (the default browser on Macintosh OS X), Mozilla, Opera, Arena and Amaya are shut out. Once the login page passed, you can however use the application pretty much normally, no matter what browser you use. This page is intended to allow those of you who prefer to use a different browser to access their Fortisbanque web banking.
Instructions: After having completed the login procedure (this screen, and then Fortisbanque's own PIN-Code/Card-code screen), you might get back to Fortisbanque's main web page, instead of Web Banking's main page.
This is due to a missing language cookie, which would normally be set by FBL's login page.
However, when you then chose "Web Banking" and your language from the menu bar on top of FBL's main page, you get straight into your Web Banking without any further login.
Note: Sorry for the spartan appearance of this page. Until February 4th 2005, this page used to be a minimally modified version of BGL's own page, in order to illustrate the small size of the needed changes.
However, BGL felt that this was a violation of their intellectual property, and threatened to engage criminal (!) prosecution against me, if I didn't take it down within one hour (!). Allegedly, they even went as far as hiring a court bailiff ("huissier de justice") to certify that this page not only contained BGL's HTML text, but also their logo images, which was false: only the (modified) HTML of user.jsp existed on my site, and a couple of very old screen shots of error dialog boxes of BGL's previous web banking application.
In order to protect myself, I had to replace this page with a version that used as little of BGL's HTML as possible.
However, it was a mystery to us, why, after BGL had completed most of the work to open up their site, they still left one stumbling block in: the browser check! In order to help our fellow Linux users, who are also FBL customers, we put up this site.
The site, in its version between December 2004 and February 4th 2005, did not contain any harsh criticism of Banque Générale, nor any naming of Stéphane Ries nor any other BGL employee who might or might not have been responsible for design choices about the web banking application. On the contrary: our site attempted to communicate our happiness that BGL Web Banking now works at least with Firefox, which is already a huge step in the right direction compared to the situation that existed between February 2004 and December 2004. It is thus un-understandable to us why they made such a fuss.
Note to lawyers and court bailiffs (huissiers):
this page has been implemented from scratch, using only the URL of the "form action" (2 parts), and the label of the user name field. No other intellectual property of BGL or Fortis is used on this page, and these 3 trivial elements are authorized under article 6 of the EU Software Directive of 1991.
There are also a couple of puns around BGL slogans on this page, which are legal under the statutes covering parody and satire.
The previous version of this page (until February 4) did indeed contain some amount of HTML text from BGL's site, but no logos or other images of the current version of the software. A folder named OBSOLETE did contain screenshots of the pre-February 2004 version of BGL Web Banking. Use of screenshots of an application being discussed is considered acceptable use, as whitnessed by the abundant presence of such elements in the computer press. Moreover, according to our logs, this folder, which was merely a backup, and was not linked from anywhere, has never been accessed from outside since its existence, and could thus not have been known by anybody without shell access to our server. Thus, a hypothetical court bailiff who would have certified, on February 4th 2005, that this site contained graphical elements of Banque Générale's Web Banking application would either have committed perjury or implicitly admitted that he breached our site's security and illegally gained shell access.
Hey FBL: If our pages bother you so much, why don't you simply remove this stupid browser check? You already spent most of the effort needed to make your site W3C compliant. This is good, and we are glad you did! But why not perform the last missing small step? If that check is removed, we assure you that this page will be gone as soon as we know about it, and this time, we won't even keep a backup on our server in an obscure subdirectory, either!