Lin Jiaxiang and the China Web Vigilantes

L. A. Times’ Mark Magnier reporting from Beijing:

The private eyes in China’s most famous detective agency rarely sleep, are relentless in pursuing their prey and can put Interpol and Homeland Security to shame. Oh, and they work for free.

But before you think about hiring them, there’s a catch. The detectives are all online: millions of people working together as a “human flesh search engine,” a bizarre term meant to capture the mix of cutting-edge and old-as-the-hills tactics used in a growing number of Internet vigilante campaigns here.

And once again they have found their target, fueling a scandal that has captivated millions while underscoring the anger and lack of trust many feel toward officials, police and the law.

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