Anyway, Weev had to manipulate a URL to get the information. He even wrote a script to do this.
Police used "an automated P2P query-response tool".
That is like saying the police used a Google search and found some kiddie porn, so they used "an automated" query tool which makes it inadmissible. Using a tool to facilitate the collection of published information doesn't constitute unauthorized access. Writing a script to brute-force a URL field does. By placing the files in the P2P folder for sharing, they published it (intent not required), so in these cases police OK, Weev in violation.
Keep in mind that misusing publicly available information can still be illegal, so if a website accidentally sent you someone else's information when you type a typical search, you haven't broken a law, but then using it to have orders sent to you using their saved card would be, even though the website's programming allowed it.
There is a significant fundamental difference between these two, as others has tried to express. In the Weev case, he had to figure out how to get to the data which was not directly accessible through normal links. The authorities charged him with hacking since it was an unauthorized access.
In the P2P case, the defendants had placed the files in a location that was both accessible and searchable, which implies consent.
So, by analogy, the Weev case is like a store with a bad push-button lock on the door that takes only a couple digits to open. Making the claim that "anybody could have walked up and entered that combination and gained entry" shows the problem with the "made available" defense for Weev. By that theory, if I guess your bank account password then I haven't broken any laws since anybody who entered the right credentials "could have accessed it". In the P2P case, it is more akin to a store having a public front section and a private back section, and the store owner accidentally put an illegal item in the front section where the police saw it. It doesn't matter that it was a mistake, it was in plain site, and therefore no warrant needed.
"The Russian Foreign Ministry posted advice of a somewhat different nature on Monday, cautioning people wanted by the United States not to visit nations that have an extradition treaty with it."
Unfortunately, that small omission significantly changes the meaning of the line.
Now consider the philosophy difference between the Chinese and Americans, where the Chinese people are raised to believe they have a duty to perform actions to help their country. The government doesn't have to tell people to hack into systems in other countries to collect useful information (which they also do), they just have to make it known that the information is desirable, then not block the attempts by the "non-government" hackers (see my first paragraph). If a citizen later has come into possession of valuable information which they choose to share with the government, then they are just being a good citizen. We call it hacking, China calls it patriotism.
So why does China now respond? Because they are walking a tightrope. They are seeing how far they can push things before it has an unacceptable consequence. That is also why I think we chose to speak up this time, because to always remain silent just lets China continue doing their antics with no real consequences. So why this time and not others? Because if you keep telling the attacker what you saw, and by implication what you didn't, you give him valuable information that can make him more effective and more stealthy.
It may not be the classic form or war, but it follows a lot of the same rules. And because of the difference of philosophies, it is a somewhat asymmetric war.