"Unlike with Al Capone, we're not talking about flooding the streets with an intoxicating liquid, we're talking about to something that should be a basic human right here: the right to educate yourself through accessing our communal pool of knowledge."
You just made a value judgment there, morally evaluating one form of lawbreaking over another, structurally similar, one. The point of democracy is to have such debates in an open, controlled forum. Yes, that forum can seem excessively slow. But there are very good reasons we don't want government to move at the hacker speed of everyone try their own thing (given that the activity has already been put in the domain of law versus free markets).
> (given that the activity has already been put in the domain of law versus free markets).
However, it is important to realize that in the case of computer networks, "the law" hasn't done the requisite work to analyze the domain and create appropriately scoped proscriptions. Instead, it has taken the expedient way of making everything illegal unless explicitly allowed (with possible three decade sentence), and then letting a small autocracy (prosecutor/court) decide individuals' fates.