The most common previous usage was in the context of equipment inspection, and gradually became generalised in much the same way as "rules-Nazi" did a few decades earlier, to define a person perceived as being completely encased within technology or rules respectively, to the eradication of all personal judgement. (A parallel can be made to the increasing substitution of nonhuman for human technologies: technology which controls the human, vs. technology which is controlled by the human.) A secondary, related usage refers to electronic monitoring of the manner of one's computer usage -- or, more generally, any form of high tech surveillance.
Increasingly, however, the usage has shifted to define absolute authoritarianism by those in possession of tech (usually IT) skills, as wielded over those without. The perception is that "I was just following orders" has been replaced by "the computer/program/server/other technology will not let me do it": but this perception seems to be qualified by a (non-techie) interpretation that the request can in fact be done, could be done as one fellow human being to another, and that the technician is in fact using existing equipment limitations as an expanding excuse to enforce personal, non-equipment-based preferences.
At an extreme, the non-techie may see the technologist as abusing their position of knowledge-power in order first to create an environment shaped entirely around the technologist, then to reinforce that environment by selectively accepting or denying requests according to how they accord with the existing environment.
The irony is that in many corporate situations, the technologist has little or no additional freedom of action over the non-techie, but is perceived as having potentially greater freedom based on the knowledge-power held over the non-techie. (Whether such freedom of action does exist in the many small start-ups and outsourcings occurring today is not a question I feel qualified to address, having little to no first-hand experience.)
So why has this term, this idea, been latched on to so tenaciously in this time and age? New technologies, including new communication and information technologies, with similar requirements for a specialised labour pool, have come into being several times since the 1940's -- yet skilled worker as technology authoritarian seems only to have become a perceptional reality within the past few years, perhaps even only since 1999. (Did the Y2K non-disaster catalyse this new way of looking at the technician?)
Is the usage of the term rooted in envy of the technician's skills, fear of the unfamiliar ... or in something else?