Norway was password protected before Schengen (and 9/11), when they standardized border crossings and security procedures.  You walked in to the passport control, briskly, and announced “Norsk”.  If you could pronounce it, you earned the right to enter the country.   This procedure worked nicely if you were white skinned, or obviously belonged with some white skin people (all Norwegians are tall, blond and blue eyed; except some of us).  The entry procedure was similar to the Shibboleth described in chapter 12, Book of Judges.  “Norsk” (Norwegian) is remarkably hard to pronounce for foreigners, including Danes and Swedes.  Since a language is a dialect with an army, Norwegian is a language separate from Danish and Swedish.

I am currently abroad, in the fair mountains of Andalucia, visiting my in-laws who spend their winters here.  Travelling with children involves more paper work than it used to, when I was young.  Our two sons had to get a passport each, even if Spain is part of Schengen where (in theory) there is no need to carry a passport when crossing borders from Norway.  When we return, they are not likely to check at the border, since the passport control has been delegated to the air line operators. Delegation of authorization to the access point is common procedure, but leads to differences in the pragmatic day to day implementation of the authorization (as those of us trying to travel with KLM to the Netherlands without a passport knows,  even if we had plenty of other valid ID).

The formal requirement for travelling is having identification papers, but in practice the only identity paper available for small children is a passport.  Back when I was a child, you put the names of children into the parent’s passport, and then you could take the children with you.  This was called “writing the child into the passport”, and was sufficient security until someone discovered that most children have more than one parent (and some parents have multiple passports).  Then it was decided to treat children like persons, with regards to passports.

I know a Polish linguist who regularly entered the country by using the password procedure (or by putting on T-shirts proclaiming the benefit of Nynorsk and sheeps heads, something only indigines from Voss does in public) in the late 1980’s.  Using passwords is of course vunerable to attacs, but the risk from visiting linguists could be deemed low enough to be acceptable.   Providing background discussion to the risk analysis is rarely done, and this impedes the transparency of the authentication and identity solutions we encounter.