This news item published by pdn (Photo District News) in the United States is a small victory against the relentless march of authoritarian interference with the freedom to photograph public buildings.
It took the New York Civil Liberties Foundation taking on the US Government in court to lead to a mediated settlement as a result of which the photographer will receive modest compensation. More importantly, the agreement binds the US authorities to instruct in writing Federal agencies that in the absence of any contrary local regulation there is no prohibition on a member of the public photographing a Federal court building from a public space. It is worth following the link above and reading the actual agreement sanctioned by the court.
There are still many loopholes and opportunities for law enforcement authorities to harass photographers however this is a start.
It shows the need for NGOs (non government organisations) to take up the civil liberties aspect of the interference with photography in the public interest.
Let us see what happens in Australia.