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 79: How the German Immunity Passport Was Hacked

The certificate infrastructure of the German digital immunity passport, based on an EU-wide system, has been completely undermined by a hack that’s so easy to pull off that probably any twelve year old with a computer can accomplish it.

Episode 78: Did You Know That Your Friends are Extremists?

What happens when our media consumption is so fear-inducing that we let companies regulate our social connections? A culture of digital snitching develops that gives companies knowledge that previously only authoritarian governments possessed.

Episode 77: Welcome to the Polizeistaat!

The German police can now hack into computers and phones, without the target having to have committed a crime. Even though a Berlin court has just ruled evidence from similar hacks originating outside of Germany to be inadmissible in criminal proceedings in the country.

Episode 76: Censorship Does Not Take Place

The German constitution states that censorship does not take place and yet, Germany is one of the most censorship-happy countries when it comes to Western democracies and therefore at the forefront of the brewing culture wars. How can that be?

Episode 75: YouTube's Unfair Censorship

YouTube blocked one of my episodes, insulting my professional reputation and claiming that I was spreading misinformation about SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. They later admitted they were wrong, but refuse to tell me how such an egregious mistake can happen. Let’s examine what behaviour like this means for freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

Episode 74: Immunity Passports Are Here

Germany has just introduced digital immunity passports as mandated by the EU. How does this system work and what does it mean for civil rights of EU citizens in the future?

Episode 73: A Great Time to Be a Podcaster

The EU copyright reform is now in effect in all member countries and with it comes the horrible idea of upload filters. Let’s discuss why this is bad for journalism, already very much on its last legs, and free speech in general.

Episode 72: The Political Implications of Ransomware

Let’s talk about ransomware. Ransomware is not the problem. People being lazy is the problem.

Episode 71: Zero Trust, My Ass!

Cloudflare’s Zero Trust Browser is a dumb idea if I ever saw one. Here’s why. And as a little bonus, we look at the Mighty browser, which is even more insane.

Episode 70: Targeting Your Citizens with Spyware

The German government wants to put trojans on its citizens’ phones and other devices to crack end-to-end encrypted communications. And it wants to do it with as little due process as possible. Welcome to another battle in the Crypto Wars!