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We study a hypothesis testing problem in which data are compressed distributively and sent to a detector that seeks to decide between two possible distributions for the data. The aim is to characterize all achievable encoding rates and exponents of the type 2 error probability when the type 1 error probability is at most a fixed value. For related problems in distributed source coding, schemes based on random binning perform well and are often optimal. For distributed hypothesis testing, however, the use of binning is hindered by the fact that the overall error probability may be dominated by errors in the binning process. We show that despite this complication, binning is optimal for a class of problems in which the goal is to “test against conditional independence.” We then use this optimality result to give an outer bound for a more general class of instances of the problem.