The Private Citizen is a weekly politics podcast covering issues of privacy and technology by veteran freelance journalist Fabian A. Scherschel. It places a particular emphasis on analysing primary sources and enabling the listener to think for themselves. The goal is to develop a pragmatic approach to problems and to possible solutions for them. While obviously coloured by the opinions of the host, the show strives to hear opposing viewpoints as much as possible.

This podcast will always be free of charge and free of advertisements. It is listener supported via Patreon under the value-for-value model. I see this as the only way to stay independent and produce ethically sound journalistic work, especially in these trying times of misinformation and partisan divisons.


I release a new episode every Wednesday plus occasionally extra episodes when the times call for it. You can subscribe to the show by searching for it its name within your favourite podcast app or using one of the following means:

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Episode 65: Insane Cloud Stupidity

In this episode, Ubiquiti explains to us how to not run a company these days: Put things in the cloud needlessly, fuck up on security not once, but twice, and then mislead your customers about it.

Episode 64: The Problem with Facts

Even though science is almost a pseudo-religion to many people these days, a lot of them don’t really understand what the word means or how scientists work. And one of the biggest factors in this is that people do not understand a scientist’s relationship to facts.

Episode 63: The Scientific Method

Explaining the scientific method (or: how scientists think) as a basis for further discussions on the podcast.

Episode 62: Exchange Hell

After talking about a hack that was caused by Microsoft’s cloud email service last week, we now look at the next infosec disaster in recent months: How Microsoft stood by as hundreds of thousands of their customers’ on-premise Exchange mail servers got breached and totally owned.

Episode 61: The Most Sophisticated Attack

Analysing the SolarWinds hacker attack, which has been called the largest data breach the world has ever seen. Was it actually that bad? I’m trying to put it in perspective and discuss some aspects that have been neglected by much of the mainstream coverage.

Episode 60: Cyber War

What is cyber war? Who engages in it, what consequences does it have? What’s the difference to everyday hacker attacks? And does it actually exist?

Episode 59: Institutionalised COVID-19 Victim Blaming

How the coronavirus scare leads to irrational fear, which leads to victim blaming. Which then gets institutionalised as discrimination against those who get sick or might get sick. The German government is well on its way with its digital immunity passport, powered by erstwhile Nazi collaborators and blockchain quacks.

Episode 58: Ubiquitous License Plate Recognition

With a Raspberry Pi, a camera and some open source software, anyone can record, recognise and store number plates on mass. What does that mean for the privacy of car owners and passengers now and in the future?

Episode 57: All Your Data Are Belong to Us

Why does medical data not belong to the patients? What does that do to science and hospital care? Plus: Why Visa cancelled their bid to buy the fintech startup Plaid.

Episode 56: Getting off the WhatsApp Grid

Should you leave WhatsApp because it is sending data to Facebook? And what about Matrix? Does a federated protocol actually have a chance to replace messengers like WhatsApp?