This seems like a fairly obvious question. Morpheus is a user, his password's about to be found out, but why can't the sysadmins (the people controlling the mainframe) change the password? Or delete his 'user account'? It's not like this is a stealthy 'hack'; they know that Morpheus is compromised. Just tell Zion 'hey, revoke admin privileges for the Morpheus user' and that way they don't have to unplug him. They probably want to rescue him still, but they can take their time knowing that even if Morpheus breaks and gives them the codes, they'll be worthless.

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    I think it is not mentioned if the ship can from that position contact zion
    – Thomas
    Commented Jun 4, 2017 at 18:55
  • We know nothing about how their authentication systems work. It might not be that easy. Of course, that is merely conjecture at this time; I don't have any certain information to confirm or refute its pertinence. Commented Jun 4, 2017 at 23:26
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    I always thought it was an extreme security flaw that all ship captains have 'access codes to the Zion mainframe'. They are the most vulnerable to capture by the enemy and why do they even need that level of control anyways?
    – Kapler
    Commented Jun 5, 2017 at 21:44

1 Answer 1


Zion didn't know that they needed to change the codes.

Simply put, ships can't transmit from "Matrix broadcast depth" back to Zion. They either need to get much much closer, as they do in Reloaded when they're approaching Zion control and request the defences be 'stood down' and a dock made ready.

or in Enter the Matrix where Niobe orders the ship to

Niobe: Drop down to Zion broadcast. I want this data transmitted immediately. Emergency encryption.

They can communicate indirectly by using a series of 'dead-drops' to transmit data from a ship at broadcast depth to a ship that's heading back to Zion (as they do in the animatrix short The Final Flight of the Osiris). Note that at the point that Morpheus is captured, the Nebuchadnezzar appears to be the only Zionese ship inside the Matrix, as evidenced by the lack of support offered by any other crews to his rescue.

Additionally, to withdraw from the Matrix broadcast level requires breaking contact with the Matrix (which would kill Morpheus) so they can't simply leave him in there, travel to Zion to tell them to change the codes then return at a later time and date.

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    On top of all the very good points made here, there's also the idea that they wouldn't want to communicate with Zion from "broadcast depth" even if they could, for fear of the signal being traced and telling the machines where Zion is. Of course, as we learn in the later movies, the machines already know that information, because the whole Zion rebellion thing is part of their plan for future iterations of the Matrix anyway, but the crew of the Nebuchadnezzar didn't know that at the time.
    – Steve-O
    Commented Jun 4, 2017 at 21:29
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    @Steve-O - Unless it was a very narrow band signal, it's quite hard to trace a signal sent from a ship to the direction of the receiver.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jun 4, 2017 at 21:44
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    As further evidence that hoverships can't transmit to Zion from Matrix broadcast level: in Enter the Matrix, Niobe orders her ship to "drop down to Zion broadcast" while at Matrix broadcast level in order to transmit the message from the Osiris.
    – Null
    Commented Jun 5, 2017 at 13:57
  • @Null - An excellent point.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jun 5, 2017 at 15:11

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