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"[Science fiction is] nightmares and visions, always outlined by the barely possible."
- Gregory Benford

Decibel Alarms  
  Alarms that would go off if the noise in public gathering places was rising to riotous levels.  

This item not only predicts recent developments in surveillance technology by thirty years (see related links below), but also provides some instruction on how to evade this technology as well. That's full-service futurism.

Decibel alarms were legally required in every meeting hall, including churches, but clever agitators could and had sabotaged them so that the suppressant gases were not released when the "noise" level reached the sharp pitch of incipient riot. The professional agitators had also learned how to modulate their voices below the danger level, carefully goading their victims into the spontaneous combustion which neither gas nor water jets could control.
From A Bridle for Pegasus, by Anne McCaffrey.
Published by Analog in 1973
Additional resources -

Thanks to Erika for sending in this item.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from A Bridle for Pegasus
  More Ideas and Technology by Anne McCaffrey
  Tech news articles related to A Bridle for Pegasus
  Tech news articles related to works by Anne McCaffrey

Decibel Alarms-related news articles:
  - Detect Aggressive Voices With Sigard By Sound Intelligence

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