Quoted by the OP from source material:
The Court has struggled over the issue of allowing the copying of the hard drive. This is a serious invasion of privacy and is certainly not a standard remedy, as the discussion of the case law above demonstrates. The tipping point for the Court comes from evidence that the defendants – in their own words – are hackers. By labeling themselves this way, they have essentially announced that they have the necessary computer skills and intent to simultaneously release the code publicly and conceal their role in that act. (underline added) And concealment likely involves the destruction of evidence on the hard drive of Thuen’s computer. For these reasons, the Court finds this is one of the very rare cases that justifies seizure and copying of the hard drive.
The thing I'm very uncomfortable with is the conflation of "capability" with "intent". There are many things I can do that I don't want to do, because I'm basically an ethical person and I respect other people's rights and property, and if there's one thing I'm touchy as hell about, it's the assumption that people who are able to do things outside what people of average intelligence consider "normal" skills are inherently dangerous and/or criminal if their knowledge, skills, or abilities aren't somehow sanctioned by an "authority" like a higher education institution. I'm very much a hacker in the sense of having fairly extensive self-education and hands-on experience with technology outside of the sanctioned channels. I'm not a "hacker" in the sense in which the court understands the term. (And there's a whole other rant there, in terms of how the word's meaning has been loaded with negative connotations it really shouldn't have.) In this case, the court has taken the word out of the context and applied a meaning to it that I'm sure the original author did not intend, as an excuse to sidestep 4th Amendment protections. That's troubling, to say the least.