What we're lacking here is a clear differentiation between types of "hacktivist" or, indeed, "activist": much of the commentary that's around at the moment seems to assume that all hacktivists are the same.
Computer Misuse Act
The US Department of Justice's announcement yesterday of the takedown of the command and control (C&C) servers for the Coreflood bots (detected by ESET as Win32/AFCore) and seizure of their domains marks another step in the growing awareness that crime, whether it is committed with bullets or with botnets, is still crime. This particular botnet,
The BBC program Panorama last night investigated claims that the News of the World hired a hacker to break into a subject's PC to steal emails. In fact, it appears that the unnamed hacker installed a Trojan on the victim's PC. Which sounds like a fairly unequivocal breach of the Computer Misuse Act, which outlaws
...It's likely that there has been a technical breach in countries that have legislation like the CMA, though I can't imagine that many people would want to put the Dutch police in the dock On this issue, at any rate. :) ...