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The use of an authorization code to transfer command of a starship from one captain to another

The command authorization code (or simply authorization code) was an alphanumeric sequence used by militaries and civilian agencies to allow access to certain command protocols and restricted information. These codes were also known as a voice authorization code, security code, command code, access code, or simply password.

Some of the many uses of authorization codes including: activating and canceling auto-destruct sequences, transferring of command of a starship, accessing secured locations, ejecting a warp core, resetting primary and secondary computer systems. (Star Trek: First Contact; DS9: "Through the Looking Glass"; VOY: "Deadlock", "Dreadnought", "Cathexis", "Renaissance Man"; TNG: "Chain of Command, Part I"; DIS: "That Hope Is You, Part 2")

Earth

Password being entered

During the 1990s, Chronowerx Industries computers might include a password feature. (VOY: "Future's End")

Starfleet

In Starfleet, the style of code varied from decade to decade. In 2365, the code was a long sequence of numbers, letters from the Human Greek and English alphabets pronounced phonetically, and colors. By the following year, the code was standardized to a form used from that point on. Typically, this included the user's name, Greek letters, and numbers. Codes were changed on a regular basis to prevent sabotage and security breaches.

Doctor Kila Marr isolated the access code of the science station on the bridge of the USS Enterprise-D, thereby making it impossible to turn off the graviton pulse that was destroying the Crystalline Entity. (TNG: "Silicon Avatar")

Security clearances could be deleted, as Tuvok did when he believed he was no longer fit for duty. (VOY: "Meld")

Command codes could be transferred and divided among different parties if a relevant situation arose. When Voyager was apparently being 'haunted' by a non-corporeal entity that could possess humanoids, Janeway temporarily transferred her command codes to The Doctor, as a hologram would be immune to the entity's influence; while the Doctor would not actually be in command of Voyager, he would have the authority to countermand any orders Janeway made that he could attribute to the entity's influence. When the entity deactivated the Doctor's program, Janeway attempted to deal with the entity by dividing her command codes between herself and Tuvok, as the entity couldn't influence two people at once, but this proved to be a bad move as the 'entity' was actually Chakotay's discorporated consciousness trying to direct Voyager away from a nebula inhabited by a race of entities that drained neural energy, one of which had possessed Tuvok. (VOY: "Cathexis")

Examples aboard USS Enterprise-D and -E

Data's security code

Examples aboard Deep Space 9 and USS Defiant

Aboard Deep Space 9 and USS Defiant, authorization codes optionally included an action word related to the request being made.

Examples aboard USS Voyager

Aboard the USS Voyager, authorization codes optionally included colors and clearance levels.
Neelix was able to gain access to Tom Paris's computer with this engineering authorization code without the proper voiceprint of Paris.

Other examples

Bajoran

The storage lockers in the assay office aboard Deep Space 9 were secured by personal authorization codes. (DS9: "Q-Less")

Cardassian

Cardassian authorization codes were somewhat customizable in that high-ranking officers could add additional security checks to restrict use of their security clearances. Cardassian authorization codes were coupled with a clearance level from 1 up to 9. They could also be stated with a priority override. (DS9: "Civil Defense")

S.G. Dukat added several such subroutines to his counter-insurgency program aboard Terok Nor; when Elim Garak attempted to imitate Dukat to shut down the program, it constantly challenged Garak to prove his identity. When Dukat later attempted to beam back to his ship while the program was running, however, he discovered one of his superiors had altered the program to prevent Dukat from escaping in the event of a Bajoran revolt. (DS9: "Civil Defense")

  • 2371: "Alpha Red priority mission" A security clearance used to denote a top-secret mission that is stated with a clearance verification. (DS9: "Second Skin")
  • 2371: "This is a priority one override. Clearance level 9. Authorization Dukat-5-1-1-6-Green" Used by Gul Dukat in an attempt to abort the self-destruct sequence. (DS9: "Civil Defense")
  • 2371: "Garak-1-3-5-9" Allowed Garak to temporarily deactivate the force fields placed by the counter-insurgency program in level 2, permitting only him to move around the station. (DS9: "Civil Defense")

Security identification

A security identification, also known as a security ID code, was a Cardassian identifier used while hailing a Cardassian vessel over a comm channel. It was to be spoken after the individual stated his or her name, for the person on the other end to have proof of legitimacy in order verify that person was really who they said they were. 

Clearance verification

A clearance verification was a type of verification assigned by the Cardassian Central Command to clear a person on a top secret mission from inspection by a Cardassian patrol. The patrol would enter the clearance verification into the computer, which would state "clearance code verified". The notation would be "Clearance verification" followed by four numbers and a color. Elim Garak overheard someone stating their clearance verification at some point, and used it to convince a patrol that he and Benjamin Sisko were on a top-secret mission for the Central Command.

Ferengi

In order to access communications aboard D'Kora-class, the DaiMon's authorization was required for all transmissions. The access code of DaiMon Tog, the commander of the Krayton, was (in part) "Keh-ee Yoor-ee Dah-teh-ee…" (TNG: "Ménage à Troi")

Klingon

A defense access code was a message that, when transmitted, caused the defensive systems of the Khitomer outpost to become inoperative. (TNG: "Sins of the Father")

Other

In 3188, the access code to Cleveland Booker's ship was "sticky". (DIS: "That Hope Is You, Part 1")

See also

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