Rob Braxman's review of the Librem 5

Karl Emil Nikka is quite impressive in Swedish actually, see for example this article in Dagens Nygheter which is one of the largest newspapers in Sweden, the article’s title means “Security expert: Facebook letting fraudsters publish again”, and the security expert they mean is Nikka. He has also recently been debating the EU “chat control” proposal against the EU commissioner Ylva Johansosn, see EU:s Chat control – massövervakning eller trygghetsåtgärd? | SvD Ledare where the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper presents him as a “IT security specialist”. He has done a really good job in the debate around “chat control”, making more people understand how ridiculously bad that proposal is.


simple. The L5 is not google or apple spyware. The L5 is Linux OS Privacy Focused.
Being Linux based the L5 REQUIRES regular software updates.
It is just plain silly to review the L5 without ensuring it has the latest software.
If you are not prepared to properly use the L5, and the majority are not OS Linux competent then stick with your spyware and leave the L5 to us who value their privacy.

1 Like

It seems you’re being defensive and blaming the user. If a company ships a phone that didn’t work as well as promised or as well as other phones … blame the person who received it. Having the camera software crash and make the phone hang is just bad. It speaks to poor dependability.

Your post reads like you’re part of a mystical cult and, as a defensive response (e.g. when criticized), you’re repeating a chant that “normal people don’t understand us” and “we’re special”. A relevant note is that I’ve almost certainly used Linux longer that you and disagree with the implications of what you’re saying.

You might have answered one question (“Why do you say that?”), but you didn’t answer the other two questions:

1 Like

I’ll probably just have to take your word for it since I don’t understand Swedish. The only positive thing I found about him was that he apparently responsibly disclosed a security vulnerability is someone’s Wordpress plugin ( karlemilnikka (Karl Emil Nikka) · GitHub ).

The title of “Security expert” is a self-bestowed title from his own company where he is the only employee. His only credential that I’m aware of is his degree in Theology from Lund University. Is he credentialed or recognized as an expert by other security experts (i.e. not just called in for a comment from a journalist)?

In any case, his comment about GrapheneOS on Twitter seems to me to be unprofessional for a “security expert”.

1 Like

OK, that shows me that Sony is upgrading their kernels, so I will eat crow on that one. I didn’t do an internet search for them, although I should have since they do publish the AOSP source for their phones.

Sony currently represents 0.24% of global mobile web browsing market share, according to StatCounter, with 5.5% in Japan, 0.44% in Europe, 0.04% in N. America and 0.06% in S. America, so it is no longer a significant vendor except in Japan.

I encourage everyone to keep posting their Android kernel versions on the other thread to find out if there are any other Android phone manufacturers doing the same.


I disagree with the shills from the spyware phone makers attacking the Librem 5.

1 Like

That’s ad-hominem. You’re saying who you don’t agree with (i.e. are attacking them) and are not addressing their criticism. i.e. You didn’t answer my question. Did you watch the whole review? What did you disagree with?

1 Like

A valid and important question. I find that a lot of people purporting to be security experts really don’t have any credentials to back up their claims either. The ends and outs of encryption alone is bewildering to most people. It is very complex.

On the same token, what are Rob Braxman’s credentials? Because they way he says things feels an awfully lot like some snake oil salesmen tactics.

1 Like

There was definitely a time in the past when this was an occurrence - but this just makes me think all the more that he was running a phone with out-of-date software and hence the review is not useful.

1 Like

I got curious enough to do a comprehensive search surrounding their public identity and came up with nothing substantial regarding their formal credentials; all of it seems to be self-proclaimed. That being said, considering this is someone who has some experience with security/privacy/anonymity, I am not altogether surprised if it affected the strict management of their brand’s credibility.

Browsing their product catalogue suggests that they are an Amazon affiliate, but they do not disclose that anywhere on their website.

Note the shortened Amazon URL at the end of this particular product.

While navigating their website, they also use trackers appended in the URL, but they are not familiar to me compared to Matamo/Piwik or Google Analytics; here is a list of a few examples:

All of this and more goes against their claims in their first paragraph right on the main page:

I could go on, but I think this is enough. Besides, my “Review of Rob Braxman” is off-topic.


Good question. Personally, I don’t think he’s all that insightful or sharp. IMO he covers interesting topics, but has lots of misinformation and tends to fearmonger. I don’t like him. His github page is more interesting than Nikka’s. There are some comments that have been made to his youtube channel that he uses an alias … so I think it will be hard to look up his credentials.

1 Like

I disagree. I think it is on-topic. While it doesn’t discuss the review itself, I think a bit of background of the reviewer provides context.

1 Like

There is hardly anything worth reviewing from their background: they still manage a Google-backed YouTube channel; sells Google Pixels running Calyx OS (among other devices); then when something like the Librem 5 threatens their business model; they produce a “review” that slams the Librem 5 while ensuring the credibility of their business remains positive and profitable to their target demographic.

There is not much of a point with my “review” of Rob Braxman, as long as there exists those who place trust, faith, and/or credibility in his intent to “commit to preserving privacy”. I only did this to satisfy my curiousity, not to challenge misinformation or contradictions; people are free to believe whatever they want in spite of my actions.

1 Like

That’s definitely a red flag, especially for someone who claims to care about privacy and user rights. Right?

1 Like

I think this is the primary point here. Agenda is completely possible, bias as well. I like Rob, and I think some of what he says is important. But I think this should discredite what he is saying. Beyond that, I have an L5 and it is working VERY well. This flies in the face of what he is saying as well. BTW, he says he is on XMPP, but despite trying to contact for over 3 years numerous times, I have never received a response.

Snake oil I think is apt here.

1 Like

Does it make any sense to put the word “definitely” if you are still questioning your own moral stance by the end of your sentence?

I’m not questioning my moral stance.

1 Like

Okay, so if you are asking my perspective about these claims contradicting their actions, then yes, I see red flags. That being said, I see anything coming out of YouTube as a red flag anyways, so it does not matter what the content claims to be or who uses it.

I totally understand why people are using YouTube as platform to get visibility and I’m fine with it. And sometimes it’s more important to be visible to spread your message than doing things in the right way without being visible. But nothing is easier than upload videos to a 2nd platform, too. I agree that this counts especially for people who say they’re privacy respecting. It’s not a big deal to upload videos on YouTube and on PeerTube for example.

1 Like

You said it beautifully. Ad-hominem.
Falsely attacking the Librem 5. False because he did not do the updates, prior to evaluation.