Baylink says: The best way I've ever been able to douse the flames in the "is 'Hacking' good or bad" wars is to note that it's a skillset, just like picking locks. We don't think locksmiths are bad, just because they know how to pick locks. So even if you assume that "white hat hackers" know how to break into systems and networks, their hearts are pure.
The clear inability to discern the difference in advance is what makes people nervous.