Authority is a daemon which penalises the player for accessing Corporate Safes, Deposit Boxes, Secure Cases and Secure Lockers. While Authority is active, when an agent accesses one of these devices — even if they do not take the loot inside — the alarm tracker rises by one step, and the nearest guard comes to investigate the agent's location. Authority has a duration of 4–5 turns.
The “nearest” guard is determined by Euclidean distance, not by the actual path length from the guard to the interest point.
If multiple instances of Authority are active at the same time, then accessing one of these devices will raise the alarm tracker by 1 step per instance of Authority, but only one guard will investigate. The durations are not added together.
Authority is never installed on devices in the OMNI Mainframe mission.
If you want to loot safes immediately, then Authority can be annoying; you have to decide whether to take the alarm level hit and bring a guard to investigate, or to wait for Authority to go away. If you're in a Vault or a room with several safes, it is usually best to just wait it out — the alarm tracker will go up by 4–5 steps whether you loot that many safes or wait that many turns, but if you wait then you can use those turns to do other things. Even just generating PWR and letting items cool down can make waiting the better option.
On the other hand, if there's just one or two safes, and you can handle the guard who comes to investigate, then taking the loot now can be the better option. When you need to escape from an Enforcer chasing towards you, waiting may also not be feasible. If you do loot a safe while Authority is active, make sure not to access it more than once — some safes have items, so you may want to drop something else first to avoid being encumbered.
If there are no safes left to loot, then Authority has no effect. If a device has Authority installed, you may be able to loot everything else before hacking it. If Authority is installed on a safe, you can bypass it with an EMP Pack or Dr. Xu's Subdermal Tools, or you can loot other safes first and then take the penalty just once. If you do trigger Authority and are waiting for it to go away, this may be a good time to trigger other daemons with durations, so you can wait them all out at the same time.
Authority can be exploited for the uncapped bonuses from Network Siphon or Reactive Myomer. If you don't take the loot, then you can access a safe repeatedly to raise the alarm level arbitrarily high, for an arbitrarily large PWR or AP bonus. Only one guard will investigate, however many times you access the safe.