Several people have pointed out that Apple’s “Transparency” report of government requests for information contains a brilliant end run around the government’s gag order on revealing that certain requests have even been made.

At the end of the report’s Notes section, Apple states it “has never received an order under Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act. We would expect to challenge an order if served on us.”

Sounds pretty innocuous, right? But here’s the kicker. As long as Apple never receives such a request, we can expect future reports to contain the same statement. If that statement were to go missing, however, it would be a clear message that a request or requests had been received.

Well played, Apple. Well played.