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.

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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 69: The Contraband Corned Beef Sandwich

The Gemini protocol, a text-only alternative to normal websites, might be the perfect off-the-grid publishing platform. At the very least, it’s damn cool. In an old-school, indieweb kind of way.

Episode 68: Who Gets to Decide the Truth?

If we start to outlaw fake news, wo will decide what is fake and what is the truth? Do we trust the state? Should journalists do it? And what are we actually afraid of here?

Episode 67: The Luca Disaster

Here in Germany, we are plunging the country into an Orwellian nightmare which now, for the first time in the history of the country, also includes actual curfews. Meanwhile, the government’s next anti-COVID-app is a complete failure on pretty much all levels.

Episode 66: FLoC of Sheep

Third-party cookies are on the way out and Google says it has found a privacy preserving way of replacing them, using a technology called Federated Learning of Cohorts. Is such a thing even possible? And what are the potential problems we, as web users, are facing here?

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?