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 97: The App Tracking Transparency Smoke Screen

What we’ve been suspecting all along has now been proven correct: Apple’s app anti-tracking feature in iOS does precisely nothing to effectively protect your privacy. In fact, it makes things worse. And Apple probably knew this was the case, too.

Episode 96: Discrimination, Enshrined in Law

In Germany, the pandemic emergency has now been declared over by a new law. But instead, the government can now just use all the measures, and more, whenever they want. Not even the parliament needs to approve.

Episode 95: Fuck the EU!

Looking at the EU’s ban of two tattoo pigments as a good example for the silly and anti-scientific legislation the lawmakers in Brussels sometimes fall prey to. The EU desperately needs to fix idiotic behaviour like this if it doesn’t want anti-EU voices to sway the public against the European Project as a whole.

Episode 94: Lord of Dragons

At what point does a person who is bullied relentlessly become responsible for the situation if they keep encouraging it? That’s the question we are trying to fathom when looking at the case of German YouTuber Rainer Winkler aka. Drachenlord.

Episode 93: Kinetic Options

Examining the contemporary forces arrayed against those speaking what they perceive of as the truth, be it Julian Assange or that random dude on Facebook.

Episode 92: Bugs in Our Pockets

When Whitfield Diffie, Ronald Rivest, Steven M. Bellovin, Peter Neumann, Matt Blaze and Bruce Schneier come together to publish a paper on the security and privacy implications of client-side scanning, we should listen up.

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.