He couldn't send an e-mail or register on a website without their permission.
To make sure he was abiding, he was restricted to the living-room computer, which they could see.
"It was the Big-Brother-eye-over-the-shoulder thing," he says. "There was no way we could check what he was up to if he covered his tracks," his mother admits.
His parents had recently caved in and let him get a laptop.
Dressed in a T-shirt and his green Boy Scout cargo shorts (the only kind he wore), he was sitting on his bed, surreptitiously surfing the science and math board on 4chan, the notorious underground forum, when he came across a strange image that had appeared on the site three days earlier. Find it, and it will lead you on the road to finding us.