The statements made are not only intriguing, but a bit creepy if you look at it from a consumer point of view. AT&T claims they don't feel they should filter content on a legal standpoint, but instead think filtering material is in the best interests of their customers. They identify pirated material as a primary target, also claiming that in the end it raises costs for them and their customers.
Currently, AT&T isn't deny claims they are doing any sort of filtering on live networks. They have admitted to testing various filtering technologies, but also claim what they have tried “hasn't worked”. They did, however, say that suing users isn't the answer – a subtle message for hard-hitting companies like the RIAA. Ultimately, we could be looking at P2P be driven underground, which make make it even harder to “control”. Or, even worse, long and difficult struggles between ISPs and their customers.