1) Since Wigner it is well known that for massless particles of spin s the physical states are labelled by helicity h = ±s; other states are absent. So e.g. for photons the physical states are labelled by |kμ, h> with kμkμ = 0 and h = ±1 and we have two d.o.f. 2) For gauge theories with massless gauge bosons like QED and QCD it is well known that the 4-vector Aμ carries two unphysical d.o.f. which can be eliminated by gauge fixing (a la Dirac, Gupta-Bleuler, BRST, ...). An obvious way to see this is to i) use the temporal gauge A° = 0 to eliminate one unphysical d.o.f. A° (∏° = 0 b/c there's no ∂°A° in the Lagrangian ~ F²) ii) keep the corresponding Euler-Lagrange equation (Gauss law G) as constraint to define the physical Hilbert space as its kernel G|phys> = 0 which fixes the residual gauge symmetry of time-indep. gauge transformations ∂°θ = 0 b/c we have 4 components in Aμ and 2 gauge fixing conditions A° = 0 and G ~ 0 we arrive at 4-2 = 2 d.o.f. The method 2) gives us exactly the two helicity states described in 1) But 1) is using Poincare invariance whereas 2) is using gauge invariance w/o ever looking at Poincare invariance. So it seems that it's sheer coincidence that 1) and 2) arrive at the same results. Where's the relation???