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Private equity firm Francisco Partners yesterday offered to buy Sandvine Corp., a Toronto-listed provider of network policy control solutions, for C$4.15 per share. This tops a C$3.80 per share bid from Vector Capital, which SandVine previously accepted and gave the company a fully-diluted equity value of around C$483 million. Vector now has five days to figure out its next step, but this deal might have more consequence than a typical private equity bidding war, particularly in the area of global surveillance.

Turkey deal: Francisco seeks to combine SandVine with existing portfolio company Procera Networks. If that latter company sounds familiar, perhaps that's because it was accused of providing technology to Turkey's government that allowed the country's strongman president to spy on his own citizens – via deep-packet inspection technologies that SandVine also provides. Details of the relationship were leaked by Procera employees, some of whom reportedly believed the company's ethical compass shifted when Francisco took control in 2015. Francisco and Procera, for the record, denied any wrongdoing.

Flynn factor: Francisco also controls Israeli cyber-surveillance company NSO Group, whose software was used by the Mexican government to spy on journalists and anti-corruption advocates. NSO's paid advisors have included Michael Flynn, the former Trump national security advisor who also last year provided consulting work to Francisco.

Mum's the word: Vector Capital doesn't have any existing portfolio companies in this space. But it also isn't commenting on how it would manage or monitor Sandvine, in terms of sales to certain foreign government entities.

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  4. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.

Technical glitch in Facebook's ad tools creates political firestorm

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: SOPA Images / Contributor

Facebook said late Thursday that a mix of "technical problems" and confusion among advertisers around its new political ad ban rules, caused issues affecting ad campaigns of both parties.

Why it matters: A report out Thursday morning suggested the ad tools were causing campaign ads, even those that adhered to Facebook's new rules, to be paused. Very quickly, political campaigners began asserting the tech giant was enforcing policies in a way that was biased against their campaigns.

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States beg for Warp Speed billions

A COVID-19 drive-thru testing center yesterday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. Photo: David Santiago/Miami Herald via AP

Operation Warp Speed has an Achilles' heel: States need billions to distribute vaccines — and many say they don't have the cash.

Why it matters: The first emergency use authorization could come as soon as next month, but vaccines require funding for workers, shipping and handling, and for reserving spaces for vaccination sites.