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 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!

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.