-In a radically growing number of states it is ILLEGAL to record, photograph or otherwise document the police.
In 2010, it turned out that security staff at the U.S. embassies to Norway and Sweden had been monitoring "the movements of suspicious people" in the city quarters close to the embassy compounds (in the inner city districts of respective capitals); these security people (CIA or the like) had routinely been given rather a free hand with police registers of criminal records and
of police research data, stretching back many years, if they wanted to check up on any persons or groups that had caught the interest of said spooks; this had been offered top secret,. of course, by groups of select Scandinavian police and military guys, but with dim authorization from the government. The ministers in question denied all knowledge of this, which was dismissed as "laughable" by some journalists and intelligence work experts.
The embassies also took it upon themselves to stop passers-by from photographing outside the embassy compounds. It all happened without any obvious "image of threat" against those spots and their staff, and without any kind of judicial procedure.
It seemed very likely, too, that the intelligence and security staff of these places were not just setting up registers of "suspect people" of their host countries according to their own judgment, but may have been given access to similar very grey-zoned registers of political affiliations and activities (communists or leftists, mostly - not neo-Nazis) that have been kept - and denied knowing - by various shadowy agencies operating as henchmen of the Norwegian and Swedish social democratic parties, and the governments these have led (for many years, the SD used to have the long-term upper hand in the parliaments and governments here, though it's now a thing of the past).
The logical next step, of course, would be that the security people had been given access to data from internet traffic tapping made under secrecy in Scandinavia. Like everybody else we're part of this alphabet soup too, and in 2008 Sweden passed a controversial new law authorizing surveillance of traffic data and, if deemed necessary by certain semi-spook agencies, listening in on any internet traffic of "suspect nature" (the infamous "FRA law"). Just who could get access to the data they fished out, or to shadowy conclusions from it - you know, putting someone on a black list due to classified data - has been a running topic of debate ever since, among legal people, politicians, military and the general public, but no one, in 2010, had sufficient weight to clear up whether the embassies of other countries could partake in those data. Given how spinelessly our government has been acting sometimes (and in secret) when approached by American consults, it's not unlikely though.
All of the above would be illegal of course. An embassy is not entitled to doing its own police work on the streets of the host country, of shuffling through secret police files of that country or of stopping people from taking a pic of their buildings, just by the click of their fingers and without any clear mandate from the national police force. Okay., everyone knows that embassies routinely do some of this without asking, and I understand the concerns about terrorism given the embassy bombings in eastern Africa and - after these activities were dug up - the terrorist attacks in and near Oslo last summer, but Scandinavia has been almost completely free of seriously violent terrorist groups for a hundred years - Mr. Breivik was something completely new and special - and it's actually not good at all to give the discretion for "what kind of stuff counts as suspicious or anti-American" to the embassies and their own CIA people, when they're operating or surveying on foreign soil. This is pretty much the same lack of clarity as in the on-US-soil law you're talking of here.
Of course the response from the governments of these two countries was evasive and lukewarm: no one wants a quarrel with the U.S., even if it's mainly with its spooks and the people whom they report to, nor with one's own citizens. It did make a stir in the general public though. And if this is happening in Sweden and Norway then it's sure to be going on elsewhere