News outlets have reported that a senior White House official has been sacked following an investigation that revealed he was making unfavourable posts about the government on Twitter.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-24637160http://www.politico.com/politico44/2013/10/nsc-aide-admits-twitter-attack-on-white-house-175722.html
According to the reports, Jofi Joseph was the man behind the twitter identity @natsecwonk. From this Twitter account (which has since been deleted), Jofi posted a string of highly critical and sometimes very offensive comments regarding his colleagues and bosses at the White House. Jofi's identity was discovered following a months long probe to identify the owner of the account.
While employers ought to have the right to sack employees who bring them into disrepute, I think there is much more worrying edge to this story. The White House is not a regular employer. The White House is the head of the American Government. The sacking of Jofi Joseph appears to have come following an investigation by the very highest authority in the USA to discover the identity of the person behind a few unfavourable but not apparently illegal twitter posts.
This story reveals that the White House, the State Department and other government agencies have devoted governmental resources to discover the real-world identity of a pseudonymous critic. If they have investigated this dissident, have they investigated others? Are they investigating all? Anyone who values freedom of speech, or indeed freedom of any kind, ought to be very worried by this revelation.