In fact, the feds might think that clearing your cookies or switching browsers to get another 10 free articles from the NYTimes is also felony hacking.
Which is to say, be careful what you admit to in this forum AND how you characterize what you are doing in your private conversations and e-mails.
Weev now faces a decade or more in prison because he drummed up publicity by sending emails to journalists that used the verb "stole".
While scraping can sometimes be used as a legitimate way to
access all kinds of data on the internet, it’s also important
to consider the legal implications. As was pointed out in the
comments on HN, there are many cases where scraping data
may be considered illegal, or open you to the possibility of
being sued. Similar to using a firearm, some uses of web
scraping techniques can be used for utility or sport, while
others can land you in jail. I am not a lawyer, but you
should be smart about how you use it.