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Efforts to discover evidence of intelligent extraterrestrial life have become not only feasible, but respectable. Fledgling observational projects have begun that will use stateof-the-art hardware to develop sophisticated receiving and data processing systems. The rationale behind the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), the manner in which the program is taking shape, and the implications for telecommunications are described. We conclude that the breadth of technological development required for the detection of signals from our galactic brethren has particular relevance for the future of telecommunications in earth-oriented uses.