Laws and regulations have mandated that government agencies and organizations use the web. Citizens are pushing for and being pulled into using the web for many transactions and access to information with the government and regulated industries. And lack of access for a community to the Internet means less chance for tele-medicine, distance education and access to markets. Real access to the Internet is becoming a necessary part of human life. And quite often, citizens without the Internet, are becoming dependent on others who are.
The Internet must become a human right if human rights mean anything. It may be that TCP/IP or the web or the word "Internet" may change, but that is a word choice issue. The inability to be electronically networked with the rest of humanity is a digital divide that is akin to a deprivation of the right to a full life. A human right.
Civil rights on the Internet is a different and more complicated issue, but access to the Internet is not a civil right, but how a citizen can express themselves or do business with others gets to specific civil rights. For example, the parts of the US's Section 508 regulations on accessibility to government web resources is a civil right. If there is voting on the Internet, then civil rights will follow.
(Response to On The Media interviews this week)