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:

Spotify Apple Podcasts Google Podcasts Pocket Casts RSS

Episode 91: A Not-So-Modern Solution

Modern Solution created a software platform that is so ass-backwards and treats customer data so casually, it’s almost criminally negligent. Instead of fessing up to how bad they are as a company, they now want to get a security researcher in jail.

Episode 90: Blowing the Wrong Whistle

What’s more in your interest? Stopping Facebook from leeching off the private data of your life to further its monopoly or forcing it to censor your speech? And now take a guess which of the two politicians want to do and journalists are ecstatic about?

Episode 89: The Cult of the Vaccine

How can the hope of a new drug that might help fight COVID-19 get turned into bad news? Bad journalism, that’s how. Let’s look at how Matt Taibbi breaks it down in his exemplary writing on the topic.

Episode 88: Jamaican Traffic Lights

Will the recent German federal election be followed by time of horrible uncertainty, that is will it be the country’s Brexit moment, or is it actually a good thing? This episode discusses the election result and gives a historic explainer of the German parliamentary system.

Episode 87: Afghaniscam?

You expect me to believe that the best funded, best trained, best organised and most experienced military in history left military arms behind in a hasty retreat that are worth more than the annual military budget of all but two countries on the globe? Seriously?

Episode 86: The Sausage Wars

A discussion with my friend Mike about the current state of Brexit and what it means for the future of the European Union and the geopolitical situation on the continent and beyond.

Episode 85: The Latest in Despicable Journalism

Again and again, so-called journalists in big media outlets exaggerate or even outright invent stories to scare or outrage the public. The audience just buys it wholesale and never notices when, a day or two later, it all turns out to be complete bullshit. Today’s example: Ivermectin.

Episode 84: Steve Gibson's Squirrel

Authentication on the internet is fundamentally broken. Weak passwords, password reuse, data leaks and untrustworthy third parties tracking us while they log us in are the unfortunate reality right now. One man decided to single-handedly fix this mess.

Episode 83: The Conspiracy Theorists Get It Right Again

Pegasus isn’t new. Anyone in the field has known about NSO Group’s spyware and its use against politicians, activists and journalists for half a decade. What’s worth discussing, though, is how the topic has been ignored for so long. Both by the press and by iPhone maker Apple.

Episode 82: The Afghan Disaster

The people responsible claim nobody could have predicted what happened in Afghanistan this week. But their experts did in fact did predict it, which wasn’t exactly hard, and then the people in charge lied about it. The public now desperately needs to understand how governments operate, or it will all happen again. And soon.