They simply use the word 'detect,' which I take it to mean something like 'differentiate from background noise,' which is backed up by comments like, "In keeping with the estimates of Aburto and Woolley, the Signal to Noise Ratio for all calculations was taken to be 25 since this is between the SNR of SETI@home (SNR=22) and the maximum SNR used by Project META (SNR=33). "
Especially striking is the graph showing how large your dish needs to be to pick up human TV signals from Alpha Centauri or Vega. A little extrapolation shows that at nearly all of the stars in the galaxy you require an effective dish well over a billion metres wide. Billion's a nice big round number, don't you think?
If I were a journalist I would now have to decry this outrageous waste of tax dollars. Presumably, this is supposed to stop outrageous wastes of tax dollars. I find it to just be a waste of outrage. The kind of people who fund SETI, if forced to stop, are not likely to suddenly wake up, find their heads, and screw them back on. They'll just make the exact same mistake in some new and interesting way. In short, that cash was effectively flushed down the drain the moment it left the taxpayer's hand.
I'd also like to highlight:
"beacon signals- These non-leaked signals would be intentionally designed to attract the attention of observers in the direction of Earth. If there are advance civilizations that choose to make themselves known in this way, then it is possible that present SETI efforts may one day produce a positive detection. However, these beams must be aimed at Earth at a time when we are listening for a positive detection to occur."
Aiming a signal at Earth from most of the galaxy would be difficult, especially if they're not already aware we're here and looking for it. This alternative stacks unlikelihood upon unlikelihood.