Search engine giant Google has raised concerns about consistent demands by governments and law enforcement agencies across the world to remove content that is critical of them.

The US-based firm, which offers services like search, email, ads and mapping, said over the last four years, “one worrying trend has remained consistent: governments continue to ask us to remove political content”.

The company regularly receives requests from governments and courts around the world to hand over user data.

In a blogpost, Google legal director Susan Infantino said, “Judges have asked us to remove information that’s critical of them, police departments want us to take down videos or blogs that shine a light on their conduct, and local institutions like town councils don’t want people to be able to find information about their decision-making processes.”

Between January and June this year, Google received 3,846 government requests to remove 24,737 pieces of content, an increase of 68 per cent over the second half of 2012.

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