Rogue Agent

E.J. Hilbert
6 min readMar 6, 2019

I wrote and published this article in May 2016. Within 3 weeks of publishing, I was asked by my employer to remove it because it violated their social media policy that required all employees to clear ALL social media posts of any kind with their legal.

I am re-posting now because a friend recently asked for a copy so here it is….

On May 12, 2016 Wired.com published the long read story DoubleCross by Kevin Poulsen.

https://www.wired.com/2016/05/maksym-igor-popov-fbi/

Many of my friends who have read it ask if I feel vindicated. I’m not sure.

The story is an overview of one of my cases from my time in the FBI. The case that would ultimately result in me leaving the FBI. But what is in the article is about 40% of the whole story.

As a reader you must understand that this is a highly personal story because of the impact it had on my life and the life of my family. Many I know who are reading the story for the first time now understand the significance. That case cost me my dream career, it attacked the core of who I am; my morals and ethics, it cost me my home and it nearly cost me my family.

For a “50’s sitcom dad” those are the things that matter most.

I have been trained to keep secrets, not to be sneaky and slimy, but because until you have all the facts, making any statements can often cause irreparable harm to others. The FBI does not comment on investigations because simply by being under investigation a person, company, entity is cast in a negative light. As an agent I kept secrets from family and friends as well as those who do not have a need to know. (Even those within the government.)

This article is the first time this story has been discussed publicly. So this is the first my family and friends are hearing about the details. I have held this story close for over a decade and keeping that secret has taken a toll.

There was always rumors about the case and there are some within the FBI and DOJ who thought they knew the whole story. Claiming I was working for/with Popov or that I had betrayed the FBI. They operated under those assumptions making life and work incredibly hard both in the Bu and after I left.

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E.J. Hilbert

Work in the CyberSecurity and Privacy Arena worldwide, Owner of KCECyber, Ex-FBI. All opinions posted are my own !!!