SETI is listening for messages of extra-terrestrial origin. This article talks about a candidate signal Russian astronomers received over a year ago but that only recently came to light. There was no independent confirmation of the signal at the time, and current observations focused on HD 164595, the apparent source of the signal in question, are apparently not yielding any results. This prompts my question:
What is protocol related to the detection/confirmation of an extra-terrestrial signal? Let's imagine that a signal is detected and subsequently confirmed as of extra-terrestrial and artificial origin - source location is beyond our solar system, signal composition cannot be explained by any natural phenomenon. For lack of a better example, let's say its primary feature is just like that depicted in Carl Sagan's "Contact" - streams of pulses enumerating prime numbers.
What happens next? Is there full public disclosure? Is such disclosure relied upon to decode the signal (assume the signal has secondary features which suggest the presence of an actual message)? Is disclosure avoided? Is public disclosure made upon detection, prior to confirmation? Is there even a protocol in place?
The story with the Russian detection seems to suggest that an opportunity for confirmation was lost because of a lack of even limited disclosure. What would happen upon a detection event by SETI or some other scientific agency such as a university?