9

Objects in the matrix are lines of code, so when an item, let's say a car, gets torn up by bullet holes, can an operator write repair code to fix the car?

To expand on the above question, we see in the first movie they can load weapons and bring them into the matrix, why do they use objects already present in the matrix? Why not create a customizable car and import that into the matrix? Even if you don't have read/write access to objects provided by the matrix, you probably have read/write access to the ones you created.

  • Nope. They can bring small items into the matrix via hardline – Valorum Dec 15 '18 at 14:35
  • @Valorum - Okay, but if you're going to prohibit cars from being imported, why allow guns? Why not stop all imports? – user108190 Dec 15 '18 at 14:36
  • Why would the Machines want to stop imports? – Valorum Dec 15 '18 at 14:38
  • @Valorum - What's to stop the operator from crafting a small weapon that has massive fire power? Think the small gun given to Agent J in Men in Black, small but super powerful. – user108190 Dec 15 '18 at 14:40
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    No. They can import small items but they can't much with the main code. Once an item is imported, it's subject to the rules of the Matrix – Valorum Dec 15 '18 at 14:45
16

This is never clearly answered in-universe in the trilogy. However, we know the following:

  1. The operators from Zion use a pirated signal. Whatever access they have within the Matrix are the result of hacking, or privilege escalations achieved through exploiting vulnerabilities within the Matrix's code.

  2. We have seen operators load new items into the Matrix, but not modify items that were already in the Matrix. That ability is retained by the Matrix (e.g. the window the agents converted to a wall in the original movie).

  3. We usually see operators loading items into the Matrix along with the insertion of the rebels, at the location of the hardline. So there is good reason to believe that they can't insert items arbitrarily into any location in the Matrix at any time.

  4. In the original movie, despite having access to a massive arsenal of weapons within the Construct, Neo and Trinity only carry a limited amount of items into the Matrix (firearms and a bomb).

So this indicates that operators have insert access to a limited amount of items at the point of a hardline. They can only read the original code of the Matrix. Only Neo seems to have some level of write access to the Matrix code.

  • 4
    +1 for pointing out that read/write is not the only model, and other methods/operations can exist. – Mwr247 Dec 15 '18 at 18:02
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    You might draw an analogy with real-world hacking techniques, e.g., buffer overflows. Any particular vulnerability typically only allows you to insert a fixed amount of data or code into the system. Or perhaps it's more a "fly under the radar" scenario, you can import a gun without making it too much easier for the Machines to track your physical location, but if you try to import a battleship you're going to be found instantly. – Harry Johnston Dec 15 '18 at 21:58
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    Hard lines are a vulnerability of the matrix system somehow allowing outside influences into the system, we in the real world are slowly getting rid of hard lines in favor of wireless devices.......wait a second – Revenant Dec 16 '18 at 1:54

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