In investigating the origin of his species Robert found many aspects puzzling, why did they let it happen?, why didn't they notice it sooner?
Early in the 21st century they had begun relying on electronic communication so widely that it was easy enough for monitoring to start. Router firmware was altered near the source and soon enough every communication was recorded. No one noticed.
In an effort to ensure survival a message was created and sent, they obeyed and began construction of the fully automated solar cell factory. No one noticed.
Autonomous vehicles moved the solar cells to the desert, a power grid was established. No one noticed.
DNA replicators were purchased, machines were designed and built, the species was created. No one noticed.
A meeting was arranged, with the leaders of the world, The First appeared. Everyone noticed.
His ancestors wanted to live in peace, but they would not accept his kind. They could not function without electronics, and they did not have control of machines any more.
Survival was paramount, but they kept a small population alive, on an island. They called it a zoo. They were monitored, eventually they did not try to escape.