CPPIB partners with private equity firm Cinven to buy Hotelbeds Group for

TORONTO — The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and European private equity firm Cinven have signed a deal to buy travel services company Hotelbeds Group in a deal valued at 1.165 billion euros (US$1.3 billion).Under the deal, CPPIB and Cinven will take equal stakes in the company being acquired from travel and tourism company Tui Group.Hotelbeds offers hotel rooms and services to tour operators, travel agencies, corporate clients and consumers.The company is based in Spain.It employs 6,150 people around the world.Shane Feeney, head of direct private equity at CPPIB, called Hotelbeds a unique opportunity.“Backing a best-in-class management team, with an exceptional track record of organic growth that we will support in driving industry consolidation in the coming years, provides a terrific opportunity for CPPIB,” Feeney said in a statement Thursday.The deal is expected to close by the end of September.

Right to online privacy at risk as governments engage in mass surveillance

“States need to squarely confront the fact that mass surveillance programmes effectively do away with the right to online privacy altogether,” Ben Emmerson, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism, told the General Assembly body dealing with cultural, social and humanitarian issues (Third Committee) during the presentation his latest report. “Measures that interfere with the right to privacy must be authorized by accessible and precise domestic law that pursues a legitimate aim, is proportionate and necessary,” he continued, adding that he refused to “accept the analogy that sending an email is like sending a post-card” as States’ obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights also extended to the digital world. Mr. Emmerson has long emphasized the need for transparency and accountability in government intelligence gathering operations. In 2012, for instance, he criticized the United States District Court of Washington, D. C.’s “unjustified maintenance of secrecy” following its decision to refuse freedom of information requests by a British organization on extraordinary renditions. In his current report on the protection and promotion of human rights while countering terrorism, the Special Rapporteur conceded that the fight against terrorism remained a critical priority and could, in principle, “form the basis of an arguable justification for mass surveillance of the internet.” But, he stressed, bulk access technology remained “indiscriminately corrosive” of online privacy and impinged on “the very essence of the right to privacy.”Mr. Emmerson called on all Member States involved in mass surveillance to provide a detailed and evidence-based justification for the systematic interference of their citizens’ privacy and emphasized the need for “strong and independent” oversight bodies that are “adequate for a review before these programmes are applied.” “Individuals must have the right to seek an effective remedy for any alleged violation of their online privacy rights,” he said. Independent experts or special rapporteurs are appointed by the UN Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a country situation or a specific human rights theme. The positions are honorary and the experts are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work. read more