Here’s an editorial piece on photography in public areas. It’s lengthy but it and the comments explore the subject well.
There’s a lengthy thread on the Street Photographers list after a number of members were stopped by police. Trouble, trouble, trouble.
All because some paranoid daytime-TV-watching shut-in saw someone outside with a camera. And because the local TV news tells him to report any suspicious activity said fear consumer dutifully calls the police. After all why would someone want to take pictures of anything other than their family and those Kodak spots at Disney?
This is even worse that some third-world banana republic. At least there you can usually bribe your way out.